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EDITORIAL

Let’s Celebrate Christmas For Love And Justice

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Today, Nigerian Christians join the rest of their brothers and sisters in other countries of the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ whose teachings form the fulcrum of the Christian faith. Beyond the remembrance of the significance of this day, Christmas epitomises a far deeper truth about spirituality that manifests God’s love for mankind. This day also bring into focus the undying love of the divine powers to save humanity from destruction in the hereafter as recorded in the Holy Bible. At a time when greed, hatred and superstition, among others, had taken over the hearts of mankind, the birth of Jesus Christ, who is acknowledged as the Saviour of mankind by Christians, provides mortals with a moral compass for salvation and rekindles hope for a regenerated humanity founded on unmerited love of God.

In remembering the birth of Jesus Christ, Christian faithful openly display love and kindness that depict the essence of the Christian religion. During this period often referred to as the yuletide season, family members and neighbours exchange visits and take time off their busy schedules to share memorable moments with family members and friends, among others. In a secular state like ours, Nigerians have come to see this season as a moment of merriment and exchange of visits and gifts as an expression of appreciation and love for one another.

Beyond the wining and dining that have come to characterise the celebrations, the essence of this period recalls the need for sacrifice towards the common good. The love of God upon mankind, according to the Holy Bible, made Him send His only begotten son Jesus Christ to salvage mankind from the vice-like grip of sin. There is no better time than now to replicate this selfless love and stand up for the truth for the common good for all. Perhaps, that explains why Christians take advantage of the season to express love and reach out to the less-privileged persons in order for them to share in the season’s merriment. Christmas also provides an occasion for spiritual reawakening that delivers Christians from worldly pride by focusing on the priceless sacrifice of Jesus Christ as manifested in his death on the cross of Calvary, including appealing for a renunciation of worldly desires and embracing humility in total surrender to the will of God.

This year’s Christmas comes at a time when Nigerians are set to elect political leaders who are expected to superintend over the affairs of the country in the next four years. Considering the tension and dust of controversies that have trailed the campaigns for 2019 polls, it is essential to remind Christians to join forces with peace-loving men and women of goodwill to safeguard the triumph of justice and fair play and eschew all forms of violence that may threaten peaceful conduct of the polls. In this regard, there is need for clerics to be at the forefront of preaching peace to their members to shun violence and embrace peace in resolving conflicts as the nation prepares for polls in February and March next year. Christian clerics should be at the vanguard of interfaith collaboration to ensure that peace and love, which is the significance of Christmas, is upheld to ensure that Nigeria survives the doom prognosis of some local and international political commentators.

The political class should embrace the virtue of total self-effacement and self-abnegation as a necessary roadmap in making next year’s polls peaceful and transparent. In a situation where politicians’ desperation and greed drive their aspiration, the incidence of bloodshed and violence, if allowed to hold sway, may mar the prospects for a peaceful conduct of the polls. The trees of nationhood are grown by patriots who are always willing to toe unbeaten paths of greatness in order to place future generations on the road to genuine development.  It is against this backdrop that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police, among other security organisations mandated with conducting free and fair polls, are called upon to ensure that they take all the necessary measures to guarantee trouble-free elections.

Nigerians, especially Christians, should take advantage of this Christmas celebration to promote peace across the religious divide and offer prayer of thanksgiving to God Almighty for the protection of our fragile peace and at the same time offer prayer for the divine powers to intervene and halt the bloodshed plaguing our country.

As a newspaper, we congratulate Christians on this important event in their salvation history. However, beyond the feasting, this time around, Christmas should serve as a time for deep reflection on how we all have to contribute our quota in rebuilding and refocusing our country towards a new dawn where love and justice are the cornerstones of our nationhood.

 

 


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