The Federal Government has declared Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th December 2022 and Monday, 2nd January 2023 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively.
The announcement was inadvertently made last week in a similar statement, which was promptly withdrawn after media organs had published it.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola while making the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, felicitated Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Aregbesola enjoined Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings, especially on faith, hope and love.
He said: .“We must imbibe the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on Humility, Service, Compassion, Patience, Peace and Righteousness, that His birth signifies. This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth.”
The Minister emphasized that peace and security were two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity, urging Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of any vestige of insecurity in our dear nation.
He however reminded Nigerians that the coming year, 2023, was an election and political transition year and Nigerians should prepare to make it a huge success by voting peacefully and avoiding anything capable of marring the exercise in any way.
Aregbesola also assured Nigerians that the Government had put in place effective measures for the security of life and property and expected Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing useful information that would assist them in the performance of their duties.
The Minister urged Nigerians to be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS, saying “when you see something, do N-Alert, as this would elicit prompt response from security agents.”
The Minister also said this Yuletide called for spartan discipline in order to protect life and property of everyone in communities and the nation as a whole, while advising Nigerians to “moderately celebrate the festival and act responsibly by refraining from spreading fake news on the country, the government and our neighbours.”
Aregbesola however urged all citizens to remain focused; and expressed confidence that the year 2023 would be a better year for us all.
He wished all Christians in particular a happy Christmas and all Nigerians a peaceful and prosperous New Year celebration.