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Nigeria Celebrating Christmas in Fear, Uncertainty, Hardship, CAN Laments

“Nevertheless, the message of Christmas informs us that God will not abandon us.”

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has bemoaned the challenges confronting Nigerians, saying the people are faced with uncertainty, fear and worsening poverty.  
In a message issued on Saturday by the CAN President, Archbishop Daniel C. Okoh, to mark this year’s Christmas celebration, the Christian body said political leaders, especially those jostling for the opportunity to lead the country should use the Christmas season to reinforce the hope of the masses in a better, more peaceful and secure Nigeria come 2023.


“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 inspire us to speak the language of peace to our neighbours regardless of differences in religion, ethnicity or political leanings,” Okoh explained.
The CAN President said that Christians should use the “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 Lord’s favour.”


“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 potential in our dear country for national development.
“As we gear up to elect new sets of leaders at both the federal and state levels in the first quarter of 2023, Christmas is a reminder that God has not forsaken us. Therefore, we should pray to God to open our eyes to be able to discern and vote for those who will govern the nation with godly fear and devotion.


“Let those contesting for elective positions realise that the forthcoming election is not a do-or-die affair; rather, it is God who gives power to whoever he pleases. They should eschew violent conduct and toe the path of honour and peace as they campaign for votes.
“We should not allow fear of insecurity and violence cause us to stay away from voting during the 2023 general election. Let us remember that the spirit we have received from God through the coming of Christ into the world is not of fear but of power, love, and sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). Religious and political leaders as well as the media,” Okoh said. 

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

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