Reflecting on yuletide messages

In his Christmas message to Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu had described Christmas as a special time of the year for all of us. For Christians, he said it is the time of the year that marks the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrates the hope and redemption that are the hallmarks of Christ’s life. For people of all faiths, this is an opportunity to enjoy the company of family, celebrate life, and delight in the gifts of love and friendship that make life worthwhile.

This is also a time to look out for each others because, amidst the festivities, this time of year for many will be tinged with sadness, as some mourn the loss of loved ones and others grieving the hopes that failed to materialise and the dreams that fell short. In the spirit of Christmas, reflecting the best of Christ, let us all endeavour to extend the warm embrace of kindness to those around us, who need it and let the multiple acts of kindness serve as a light that guides us into a happy and wonderful new year. This year has been a time of transformation and relentless change in our country. And I am aware that the necessary reforms we are implementing to achieve a more prosperous, peaceful nation for all have imposed unique sacrifices, the President said.

“My administration will continue to implement palliative measures to ease the burden on the most vulnerable, address current hardships and alleviate the suffering of all our nation’s people. Fellow Nigerians, as we navigate this transition to stability, prosperity, and Renewed Hope, I urge you once more to hold fast and rest assured of my commitment to govern with vision, dedication, and empathy. Be confident that by the strength of our joint endeavour, we will shortly emerge into a new dawn of prosperity, peace, and irreversible progress. As you celebrate this season, please, spare a moment of remembrance and prayer for the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, bearing arms in our names and ensuring our safety. My God protect them and bring them back to their families.

“And let us together commemorate the memory of those who, in their service, have paid the highest price for our nation. May God bless their souls and comfort their families and loved ones. Let the light of Christmas guide our paths as we bring this year to a close and usher in the new year”, the President had said. In the same vein, Nigerians have been advised to show love and kindness to fellow citizens as they celebrate Christmas.

This piece of advice was given by the Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Union of Mine Workers (NUMW), Comrade Tunde Soneye, who frowned on the rate at which corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the nation, said that the federal government could still subsidise the price of petrol within this festive period to bring succour to Nigerians, stressing that the citizens and business owners were currently facing economic hardship and cash crunch.

He also admonished Nigerians to live within their means and avoid borrowing to celebrate Christmas, adding that “January is around the corner when children will resume to school, and their school fees will be paid”. The NUMW spokesman, however, charged the youth in the country to rise and take up the challenge of leading Nigeria out of the woods, with optimism that the country will be great again. Another loaded message that is also worthy of consideration was given by a former member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Lanre Jaji, who has attributed the increasing spate of paternity disputes to loss of marital values.

According to him, Nigerians need to go back to the basics where societal values are being appreciated, people are responsible, and love with no condition attached to it. Jaji added, “With pressure from in-laws, infidelity can cause paternal dispute and it is very traumatic and killing.

We need to be very careful before we go into marriage and ask God to choose for you and also check the family background, too”. He said people should be ready to shift grounds, sacrifice so many things to enjoy peaceful marriage, stressing that “marriage is sweet, but requires understanding from both parties involved”. He advised couples to learn how to forgive one another, trust each another, and shun every form of marital violence, to avoid casualties.

The former Ogun State House of Assembly member appealed to Nigerians to continue to pray for the country, even as he urged President Tinubu to come up with policies “that will alleviate poverty in Nigeria for the country to enjoy development in all ramifications”.

From the respective messages given above, the main things worth reflecting on are the importance of selfless service, extending love to each other, moderation, generosity, faithfulness, and adherence to societal values and upholding sincerity of purpose. It is truly hoped that our people would be better citizens, as we ponder on these crucial messages, when imbibed. This is indeed the clarion call.