The Federal Government has declared Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th December 2022, and Monday, 2nd January 2023 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.
The minister, in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Shuaib Belgore on Thursday in Abuja, felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
He enjoined Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings, especially on faith, hope, and love.
“We must imbibe the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on humility, service, compassion, patience, peace, and righteousness, that His birth signifies. This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth”, he noted.
He emphasised that peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity.
Aregbesola urged the Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of any vestige of insecurity in our dear nation.
The minister reminded Nigerians that the coming year, 2023, is an election and political transition year and Nigerians should prepare to make it a huge success by voting peacefully and avoiding anything capable of marring the exercise in any way.
He assured that the government has put in place effective measures for the security of lives and property and expects Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing useful information that will assist them in the performance of their duties.
He urged Nigerians to be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS.
“When you see something, do N-Alert, as this would elicit a prompt response from security agents”, he said.
Speaking further, the Minister said this Yuletide calls for spartan discipline in order to protect the lives and properties of everyone in our community and the nation as a whole.
He admonished Nigerians to “Moderately celebrate the festival and act responsibly by refraining from spreading fake news on the country, the government, and our neighbours”.
While wishing all Christians in particular a happy Christmas and all Nigerians a peaceful and prosperous New Year celebration, Aregbesola called on all citizens to remain focused, expressing confidence that the year 2023 would be a better year for us all.