At last, the federal government has officially declared Monday, December 26 and Tuesday, December 27, 2022 and Monday, January 2, 2023 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year celebrations respectively.
The announcement was inadvertently made last week in a similar statement, which was promptly withdrawn after some media outfits had published same.
Announcing the public holidays on behalf of the federal government on Thursday, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, felicitated Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Aregbesola enjoined Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings, especially on faith, hope and love
He said: “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.”
The minister emphasised that peace and security were two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity, urging Christians and all 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.
He, however, 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 disrupting the exercise in any way.
Aregbesola also assured Nigerians that the Government had put in place effective measures for the security of life and property and expected Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing useful information that would assist them in the performance of their duties.
He urged Nigerians to be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious person or activity to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS phones, adding that, “when you see something, do N-Alert, as this would elicit prompt response from security agents.”