By Jonathan Ugbal/Peter Inyali
Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has enjoined Christian faithfuls to inculcate the virtues of peace, love, sacrifice and forgiveness which he noted are the cardinal planks of Easter.
Ayade, in his Easter message, signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita and made available to CrossRiverWatch, said: “As we join our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world to celebrate this special occasion of Easter, I enjoin Cross Riverians and indeed, Nigerians to imbibe the core values of sacrifice, love, sharing and forgiveness of sins, which our Saviour preached while on earth.”
According to Governor Ayade, “In line with what Christ preached, and which he demonstrated by laying down his life for us, we should, therefore, embrace peace with all men and continue to sustain it in the years to come.
“As we celebrate, we should not forget to extend a hand of fellowship to the less-privileged among us, as Christ taught us to love our neighbours as our ourselves.
“We must not forget that the peace we are enjoying today in the state is due, largely, to the prayers and support of all of you, and I urge you, in this season of Easter to continue in this momentum by upholding the values that seek to unite us rather than those that pull us apart.
“As we celebrate, I pray that the joy of Easter enfolds you even as we renew our strength to build the Cross River State of our dreams.”
In the same vein, the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2015 general election, Mr. Odey Ochicha has also urged Christians to pray for peace and unity of Nigeria as they celebrate Easter.
In a statement issued in Calabar, Ochicha said that Nigeria as a nation needs prayers, peace and unity now like never before.
According to the statement, the Easter which marks the death and resolution of Jesus Christ to Christians should go beyond mere celebration especially as the nation is going through serious economic recession due to the global fall in oil prices.
Ochicha urged Christians to particularly pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and his team that despite the challenges and distractions by those who have breached the trust of the people, the President’s efforts will continue to yield results.
The APC chieftain who described corruption as the single bane to development in Nigeria averred that Nigeria is blessed with abundant resources hence, our leaders need prayers and support to enable them achieve their sincere efforts for the people.
“As a Christian, to me Easter is much more than the fun. It is a time that we as a people need to take sober reflection on our gains and failures, analyse our collective efforts to make Nigeria a better country and then pray especially for our peaceful coexistence.
“We need to sincerely pray for our President that as he is fighting strongly to redeem the country from the hands of those who have breached public trust by illegally and selfishly enriching themselves at the detriment of the masses, their revolt would heat the rock,” the statement reads in part.
While calling on Cross Riverians and Nigerians to keep faith with President Buhari, he wished the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade well and advised him to focus on projects that will have immediate impact on the people rather than concentrating all efforts on his voodoo signature projects.
According to the statement, “I want to call on Cross Riverians to also pray for Governor Ayade. While I commend his courage for some of his projects, he should understand the present economic reality of the state and the country by focusing on developmental projects that would have immediate impact on the people”.
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