The Nigerian Government has declared Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th December 2021 as public holidays to celebrate the 2021 Christmas and Boxing Day.
In a statement on Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, the government also declared Monday, January 3, 2022, as a public holiday to mark New Year Day celebrations.
The statement quoted the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, felicitating with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations
Aregbesola enjoined Christians to practise the doctrine of Christ, which includes faith, hope and love.
He also urged the citizens to use the yuletide season to pray for peace in the country and emulate Jesus Christ in living a life of peace and love.
The statement reads: “We must emulate 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.
“We emphasized that peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity, urging Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of insecurity bedevilling our dear nation.
“Aregbesola also charged Nigerians not to be lulled into a false sense of security on COVID-19 pandemic but to note that it is increasingly assuming a very dangerous and harmful dimension with the emergence of a virulent variant, Omicron.
“This calls for deliberate responsibility and discipline on the part of all. We urged everyone to observe all the stipulated non-pharmaceutical protocols and guidelines such as wearing of facemasks, frequent washing of hands with soap and water, using of hand sanitisers and avoidance of large groups.
“Also, he urges quick report to medical authorities of any respiratory illness observed in self and others before, during and after the Yuletide.
“Speaking further, the Minister said this Yuletide calls for spartan discipline in order to prevent the spread of the virus in our community and the nation as a whole.
“Moderately celebrate the festival without large groupings and observe all the protocols stipulated by medical authorities. Take it as a point of personal responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The Minister also assures 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.
“Aregbesola admonishes all citizens to remain focused and expresses confidence that the year 2022 would be a better year for us all. He wishes all Christians, in particular, a happy Christmas and all Nigerians a peaceful and prosperous New Year celebration.”
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