Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has urged Christians to use the occasion of this year’s Easter celebrations to pray fervently for the country to overcome the socio-economic challenges currently confronting it.
In his Easter message issued in Ibadan, yesterday, by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, the governor called on Christians to pray for the restoration of peace in all the trouble spots across the country, particularly in the northeast.
Ajimobi asked the faithful to particularly remember to pray for the safe return of the last Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, and the Chibok schoolgirls still in Boko Haram captivity.
He said it was only in an atmosphere of love, togetherness and renewed commitment to the country’s unity that the people could attain the much-desired greatness and appealed to masterminds of terrorism, insurgency, militancy, kidnappings and other acts creating unnecessary tension among the citizenry to embrace amnesty and drop their arms.
“Violence and criminality are ill winds that blow no one any good. There is no religion that is in support of taking people’s lives under whatever guise.
“Therefore, we must put immediate stop to all acts of terrorism, insurgency, militancy and kidnappings in all parts of the country. I am appealing to the perpetrators to take advantage of the amnesty being offered them and drop their arms.
“We should all be promoting activities that will further enhance our peaceful co-existence and unity as a people. It is only under this atmosphere that our dear country can achieve the much-desired greatness,” he stated.
The governor urged Nigerians to emulate Jesus Christ, who he said offered himself as a living sacrifice for the redemption of mankind.
While congratulating Christians on the successful completion of the 40-day fasting, Ajimobi enjoined them to use the occasion to reflect on the essence of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, as well as the opportunity it offers them to be closer to their creator.
He added: “Easter is not about wining and dining alone. Rather, it is an occasion to realise that we need to love one another, as exhibited by God, who, out of His love for mankind, offered Jesus Christ to die for our sins and to give life more abundant.
“Let us eschew all divisive tendencies, violence and other things that are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus Christ, which centred on love and compassion for one another.”
The governor commended Christians, Muslims and other religious adherents in the state for their peaceful co-existence, urging them to continue in their prayers for his administration in its quest to ensure better life for all.