CITIZENS.COMPASS– DESPITE the dwindling nature of Nigeria’s economy, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, has urged Nigerians to remain positive and hope for better days as they celebrate this year’s Christmas festivities.
OKoh, in a Christmas message entitled, ‘Be hopeful, God has not forsaken Nigeria’, said the current social, economic and political challenges would give room for better times if Nigerians remain hopeful, adding that the story of Christmas tells of God’s loving intervention in the human situation of helplessness and hopelessness.
He said, “Jesus is the promised Messiah, who fulfils God’s promise of eternal salvation and deliverance for His people at a time when they were neglected, exploited and oppressed by selfish and corrupt leaders (Isaiah 11:6-10). It is in this context that the significance and importance of the birth of Christ radiates brilliantly for us, as a people and a nation, because we are expecting the coming of a new leadership ordained by God to restore the fortunes of our country and ensure peace, justice and righteousness in the land.
“This year, we are celebrating Christmas in Nigeria amidst uncertainty, fear, untold suffering, hardship and pain in the face of a harsh economy, record inflation figures, worsening poverty situation and a weakened security system due to bad governance. This precarious situation in our national life can be likened to the sufferings, helplessness and hopelessness of the Israelites as a result of the decisions of their leaders to forsake God and pursue after their bellies which they have made into gods through greed, selfishness and blatant corruption.
“Nevertheless, the message of Christmas informs us that God will not abandon us, rather, He will continue to intervene in the affairs of mankind through Jesus Christ, the Messiah He sent to save the world. We should resist the temptation to speak the language of despair and division over our lives and our nation. Let the story of Christmas provide us with inspiration to speak the language of peace to our neighbours regardless of differences in religion, ethnicity or political leanings.
“Our political leaders, especially those jostling for the opportunity to lead our country out of the woods in 2023, should use this Christmas season to reflect on the words of the new-born Messiah who, when it was time to inaugurate His rescue mission in the world, expressed the consciousness that He was anointed to preach the good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, let the oppressed go free, and proclaim the year of the Lords favour (Lk 4:18-19). They should be prepared to ensure justice by insisting that the resources and positions in governance are shared equitably among people of all regions and tribes. Equitable distribution of positions will help us to harness the abundance of potentials in our dear country for national development.