The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has felicitated with Nigerians across the country on the Easter celebration and charged the Federal Government to ensure the safety of lives, property and free movement of people.
The President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle revealed this in a statement by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the CAN president, on Saturday in Abuja.
Mr Ayokunle urged all Nigerians to imbibe the teachings of Jesus Christ so as to drive out vices such as hate speech, bigotry, corruption, banditry and terrorism.
“Kidnapping, increasing wave of armed robbery and resurgence of insurgency coupled with relentless attacks by ethnic militiamen are a great concern for patriotic Nigerians and an embarrassment to the nation. These issues should be addressed squarely, promptly and fairly.
“On behalf of CAN, I congratulate all Christians in Nigeria and beyond on this most auspicious occasion of this year’s Easter, which is a commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour,” he said.
The cleric said that the essence of Easter is the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which is the greatest event in human history.
“It is this costly work of redemption on the cross bearing the curse and death of mankind as a result of sin that brought man the most powerful experience of spiritual rebirth, the uncommon grace to share eternal life of God.
“Jesus is thus the eternal ransom, an innocent Lamb of God that took the place of man in eternal condemnation. May His name be glorified forever, Amen,” he said.
According to the CAN president, public gatherings like going to meet Jesus at Galilee was common as one of the ways to celebrate Easter many years ago.
He said there was no fear then that some people would come to such gatherings and bomb the place, adding that Easter was celebrated then in an atmosphere of peace.
Speaking on the seasons and beyond, he advised Nigerians to love one another as Christ loved the church and gave His life for them.
He said lack of love today was the breeding ground for religious intolerance, killings and destructions, which in turn lead to insurgency and other forms of violence.
He added that this has led to humanitarian crises such as mass human displacements, hunger, outbreak of sicknesses and diseases across the nation.
“In the spirit of this season, and as citizens of this country, I urge all Christians, as well as Muslims and non-religious citizens of Nigeria to pursue peace, tolerance and love for one another just as Jesus offered His life to reconcile humankind to God.
“This is one of the greatest needs today in our dear country and it requires genuine sacrifice to achieve it. This is because it is in the atmosphere of peace that we would have progress as a nation.”
He, however thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assuring Nigerians of his commitment to the provision of security for all, irrespective of tribe, religion or political divide.
The cleric said that Nigerians would want to see that this noble promise is translated into action in the most patriotic way.