Jonathan, Mark, APC preach peace, love, unity at Easter | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Jonathan, Mark, APC preach peace, love, unity at Easter

Posted: Apr 5, 2015 at 9:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa, Ignatius Okorocha (Abuja) and Temidayo Akinsuyi (Lagos)

As Nigerian Christians join the rest of the world to celebrate the Easter today, President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President David Mark and other eminent Nigerians have felicitated with them, even as they sent messages of peace, love and unity to the citizens.

In his message, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to build on the critical national political choices made in the presidential elections by ensuring peaceful gubernatorial election this weekend.

Jonathan also enjoined the citizens to be prepared and willing to make sacrifices for greater unity, peace, political stability and progress in the country.

According to him: “This year’s celebration of Easter is taking place at a period of very critical national choices and decisions, during which we must all be prepared and willing to make sacrifices for greater unity, peace, political stability and progress in our beloved country.

“We must therefore seize the opportunity of the Easter holiday to reflect deeply on what more we need to do as a people, to ensure that the political process in which we are currently engaged is successfully concluded and that our beloved country, Nigeria continues to move towards a better future for all of its citizens.

“Happily, we have already successfully scaled the hurdle of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

“I am quite hopeful that the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections will also be conducted peacefully.

“To the glory and pride of our fatherland, our collective actions since March 28 have assured the world that the democratic spirit is alive and well in our nation.”

Pointing out that God was helping Nigeria move forward despite all challenges, Jonathan sought prayers that “God Almighty who has brought us this far, will continue to bless our nation as we march onward towards the fulfillment of our collective vision of a truly united, strong and prosperous nation.”

In his own message, Senate President David Mark urged Nigerians to make the interest of the nation paramount in all their endeavors in spite of their religious or political inclinations.

Mark noted the chequered socio-economic and political challenges facing the nation, adding that “with collective will and cooperation of all, we can surmount our difficulties”.

He called for renewed faith and commitment to the ideals of nationhood, saying that Nigerians should continue to demonstrate resilience and perseverance as always in order to reach the promised land.

“Which ever side of the religion or political divides we may find ourselves, what must be paramount is the interest of our country.

“What makes for the good of all; welfare and security of our citizens must of a necessity be our vision and purpose”, Mark stated.

He advised citizens to maintain peace and order, especially during this period of transition in the over all interest of the nation.

He expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of citizens during the Presidential and National Assembly elections, saying “such conduct, which has won us the accolades of the international community, must be sustained during the remaining processes”.

Mark praised the Christian community for their prayers and fasting during the Lenten season, urging them to sustain the tempo for the continued peace and unity of the nation.

He reminded the Christian faithful of the need to remain steadfast and always promote religious harmony between and among various groups as the needed panacea for peace and unity of the country.

Also, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu called on Nigerians to emulate the virtues of peace and sacrificial living as demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

In his message signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said that only selflessness, such as demonstrated by Christ in its fullest, by giving his life in exchange for the salvation of mankind, could move the nation forward.

He said: “At Easter, I call on the Christian faithful and indeed all Nigerians to emulate Christ’s sense of self-sacrifice by putting the nation first in all that they do.

“Unless we learn to live in peace as brothers and sisters, putting Nigeria above every personal, tribal, sectional, religious, and other narrow interests, our journey to the Promised Land will be farther than necessary”.

Ekweremadu stressed that the peaceful conduct of the 2015 elections so far, against all odds and contrary predictions, showed that God was indeed with Nigeria.

He, however, called on Nigerians not to relent in their prayers for the peaceful conclusion of the elections on April 11 and to also carry the same attitude of non-violence into the remaining political contests.