The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday urged Nigerians to observe COVID-19 health protocols during the Christmas season.
Rev. Dr. Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle, in a statement, said Nigerians should not let down their guards especially as the country has entered the fourth phase of the pandemic.
He also urged political leaders to work on bringing “relief and joy” to citizens with the “prompt payment of workers salaries and pensions to the pensioners.”
On insecurity, the CAN leader asked Nigerians to be hopeful and trust in the power of God.
CAN Press Statement
Christmas: A Season of Hope, Peace and Joy
I rejoice with all Christians in Nigeria and of course all over the world at this season of Christmas, the season when God became man to live among us in order to redeem us from all our sins and eternal death. My prayer is that nothing would steal from your joy of this season in the name of Jesus Christ. (John 1: 14)
Let us remember that the devil is a deceiver and what we are passing through presently in Nigeria might not be what would cause us to rejoice! Of course, what we are currently passing through may not give anybody hope of tomorrow humanly speaking unless those in power are more decisive and God intervenes for us. We are experiencing insecurity everywhere, most especially, the kidnapping, wanton killings and destructions of facilities here and there by the criminals in our midst, the insurgency in the northeast, the northwest and the north central of Nigeria, just to mention a few are terrible things of great concern. They do not give us joy at all humanly speaking. However, we need to remember that part of the purposes of the birth of Jesus Christ is to give hope to the hopeless and deliver us from sin and those who hate us. He came to set the captives free.
The Bible says in 1Peter 1: 3-4 thus:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”
Peter’s letter really was to a people who were hopeless, otherwise, he wouldn’t have attached hope in Christ to his message.
My message to all Nigerians is to remain hopeful in Christ Jesus and rejoice in hope no matter what the situation we are passing through may be. Our Father God can turn all situations around in Christ Jesus because as God, he can do all things. He is our Waymaker and he would make way for us in the name of Jesus.
I urge you to receive Jesus as the Lord over your life today, share the message of the saving power of Jesus with others who do not know him and show love in a practical way to someone around you. Let us through the love of Christ embrace one another irrespective of religious, ethnic and political differences. Let us be reconciled to God and to one another. Let all the killings, the kidnapping of our fellow brothers and sisters and all other acts of wickedness stop because God is going to judge these acts on the day of judgement.
At this season of Christmas, I plead with those at the corridor of power to use it to bring relief and joy to the citizens of this country. It is the good you have done now that people would remember tomorrow. Please, let us lessen the pains of Nigerians by paying more attention to their well-being in the prompt payment of workers salaries and pensions to the pensioners. Let all things be done to reduce the high cost of things in the market and let enabling environment be created for employment of our youths who are roaming the streets having no job.
I plead with all Nigerians not to let off their guards on Covid-19 protocols. The world has entered the fourth phase of the pandemic and it is spreading faster than other phases. Please, wherever you go, especially in public places such as markets and churches, wear your masks and keep all the safety protocols.
I pray that none of us would die untimely in the mighty name of Jesus.
Once again, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy and very prosperous New Year 2022 in Jesus’ name.
Rev. Dr. Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle
President, Christian Association of Nigeria &
Co-Chairman, Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC)
23 December, 2021.