President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged that the celebration of Easter in a subdued manner as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is unusual and very unfortunate.
The president, however, urged all Christians to imbibe and live the values of humility, discipline, perseverance, sacrifice and obedience which Jesus Christ demonstrated during His stay on earth.
President Buhari, in an Easter Message to Nigerians on Friday, says the nation shall pull through this “most difficult trial” brought by the Covid-19 pandemic disease if all Christians in particular, and Nigerians in general, continue to have faith and hope in intensified prayers backed by personal and collective responsibility.
He said if all stakeholders played their part to the fullest as advised by our scientists and medical experts in confronting Covid-19, the inherent resilience and determination of our people will enable us to pull through.
The President, who rejoiced with Christian brothers and sisters as well as all Nigerians on the occasion of the celebration of this year’s Easter, said this year’s commemoration came amid the grip with which Covid-19 had held the entire world.
He said, “Unprecedented in living memory, majority of Christians have found themselves marking Easter in a subdued manner, away from the usual congregation in churches. This is unusual and very unfortunate.
“However, I wish to enjoin our Christian compatriots to rekindle their faith in Christ who overcame persecution, sufferings and displayed endurance, steadfastness and above all piety.”
“Jesus Christ represented man’s ability to withstand temporary pains in the hope of everlasting glory,” he also said.
Buhari restated that since there is currently no known vaccine against the virus, “the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygiene and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.”
He lauded what he called the encouraging containment and ameliorating strategies put in place by members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
The President, who said he was very much aware of the personal and collective inconveniences suffered by people due to measures such as restriction of movements and closure of business premises, added that being “a matter of life and death,” the sacrifices were in everybody’s interest to save the country from calamity.
He said since the welfare of people was paramount, “the most economically vulnerable in our communities” will continue to be uppermost in government’s plans, and efforts will be made to supply them with basic means of survival.
The President, who said the armed forces and other security and intelligence services will remain vigilant and continue to contain the threats of terrorists and insurgents who might take this opportunity to perpetrate attacks, promised to consolidate efforts to eradicate them completely.
“While we see the COVID-19 pandemic as a global challenge, this administration is not oblivious of the constant threat posed to our national security by terrorists and insurgents.
“As we mark this year’s Easter, whatever the circumstances, I encourage you to make the most of the situation, and to keep safe. I wish you all a Happy Easter,” he added.