The federal government has declared Monday, December 27, Tuesday, December 28, and Monday, January 3, 2022, as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government Wednesday, felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Mr Aregbesola enjoined Christians to practice the doctrines of Jesus Christ, which include but are not limited to these – faith, hope and love.
“We must emulate the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on Humility, Service, Compassion, Patience, Peace and Righteousness, which His birth signifies. This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth” a statement signed by the permanent secretary, interior ministry, Shuaib Belgore, on Wednesday said.
Mr Aregbesola said that peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity, and urged Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of the festive period to pray for the eradication of insecurity bedevilling our dear nation.
Mr Aregbesola advised 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,” he said.
He urged all to adhere strictly to and observe all the stipulated non-pharmaceutical protocols and guidelines such as wearing of face masks, frequent washing of hands with soap and water, using of hand sanitizer and avoidance of large groups.
Also, he urged quick reporting 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.”
Mr Aregbesola said “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.”
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.
Mr Aregbesola admonished all citizens to remain focused and expressed confidence that the year 2022 would be a better year for us all.