As Christians all over the world mark Easter today, both the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on Nigerians to show love and tolerance to their fellow country men and women. Apart from the two main parties, some state governors have also called on Nigerians to ensure peaceful cohabitation with their neighbour in the spirit of Easter. Akelicious reports that Easter is the culmination of the 40-day praying, fasting and almsgiving that characterise the Holy Month of Lent when Christians recall the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice he made for the salvation of mankind. While the APC urged all citizens, irrespective of religious affiliations, to imbibe selflessness in national life and in their relationship with neighbours as displayed by Jesus Christ during his earthly sojourn, the PDP , on its part, urged Nigerians to pray for a safe and prosperous nation where love, truth and justice will prevail. The governing party, in its Easter message, further asked Nigerians to also use the occasion to pray for the safety and wellbeing of the nation’s Armed Forces and other security personnel deployed to flashpoints across the country to ensure the safety of life and property. In a statement by APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, felicitating with Christians at home and abroad on the joyous occasion of Easter, the party urged Nigerians to also remember the essence of Easter which is the recognition of the love, sacrifice and suffering Jesus Christ bore for humanity. It said: “In our collective efforts to progress as a nation, we must all rise above our perceived differences which pit brothers and sisters against themselves. Love and tolerance will take us above internecine violence, killings, agitations, and other divisive tendencies. “We seek the continuous prayers and support of Nigerians for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration in the ongoing task of taking the country to the Next Level of our shared progress, peace and prosperity.”
On its part, the opposition PDP has called on Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Easter celebrations to pray for national rebirth and the fulfillment of their aspiration for a safe and prosperous nation where love, truth and justice will prevail. The party, in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the Easter festival offers great lessons on the inevitable victory of life over death, truth over falsehood, light over darkness and freedom over captivity. “Nigerians must therefore use this occasion to rekindle their bonds of love, unity and oneness of purpose while standing firm against oppressive forces that are using intimidation, lies, institutional manipulations, propaganda and deprivation in their desperation to divide, subjugate and ultimately subvert our will as a people. “The message of Easter amply demonstrates to us that no matter how long evil, falsehood or darkness appears to thrive in the life of a people, good, truth and the light will always prevail at the end of the day. “Nigerians must therefore remain optimistic in their undying expectation and hope that the presidential mandate, which they freely gave to Atiku Abubakar, will be retrieved at the tribunal as a pathway to national rebirth and the return of our nation to the path of unity, national cohesion and economic prosperity,” it said. While wishing Nigerian Christians happy celebrations, the PDP also called on Nigerians to, in their usual brotherliness, use the occasion to show love to one another, particularly to victims of insurgency and bloodletting that have been ravaging the nation in the last four years.