Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has urged Christians, residents of Oyo State and Nigerians in general to ensure they live in peace and harmony in the spirit of Christmas.
The Governor, in a goodwill message, made available in Ibadan said that every resident and indigene of Oyo State need to imbibe the lessons of harmonious coexistence to engender development in the state and Nigeria generally.
A statement on behalf of Governor Makinde by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the Governor asked Nigerians to take appropriate notice of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, whose birth is being celebrated at Christmas.
According to the Governor, the essence of the yuletide should not be lost on all, adding that the celebrations should be to the effect that peaceful coexistence is the key driver of development anywhere in the world anyone.
“Our society cannot be an exemption,” he stated.
The Governor further said: “I want to alert every resident and indigene of Oyo State and Nigerians, in general, to note that Christmas reminds us, especially Christians, that God gave his Son for our redemption. I encourage us to reflect on this message of giving as we celebrate with family, friends and loved ones this season. I wish everyone Merry Christmas and a rewarding 2020.”
He also warned against religious bigotry, declaring that only gullible persons use religion to divide the people.
“I would want our people to live in peace and harmony because development only thrives in an environment where peace reigns.
“Jesus Christ, whom we are celebrating today came to the world and loved his enemies. He preached peace everywhere he went, his lifestyle is worthy of emulation by our people, especially now that certain forces are seeking to divide our people along religious lines.
“I want our people to know that poverty, squalor, and lack know no religion or ethnicity. If those divisive elements come to you, tell them to find other things to do because our unity would remain our source of strength.
“As we look forward to a prosperous 2020, let us all love our neighbours and brothers like ourselves, let us pray that the Almighty would touch the hearts of some persons who take joy in inflicting pains on the hapless common man.
“God urges us to be our brothers’ keeper and the least we are expected to do is to show care, love, and compassion and as we live in peace and harmony, our society would be better for it.”