Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Catholic Diocese has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on infrastructure development.
Kukah made the commendation in his Christmas message delivered at St. Mary Catholic Church titled: “Let us turn a new leaf”, on Sunday in Sokoto. (Watch Video Here)
He called for more alignment on anti-corruption efforts, noting that Nigerians acknowledged that there had been a measurable improvement in the landscape, especially in the area of roads.
He advised Nigerians, especially those who were given custody of public trust and commonwealth, to rise up to the duties for which they had been so handsomely rewarded.
” Those holding elective office must appreciate that they have not been entrusted with the keys of our commonwealth just so they can turn it into their private money (Watch Video Here) machines.
” History will record them and their roles, how they used the great opportunity God gave them among millions of other citizens, to witness to Him and to do good,” he said.
Kukah urged members of the political class to demonstrate their grasp of the length and breath of the problems that our country faced with emphasis on providing developmental solutions. (Watch Video Here)
” We have heard your promises, but we do know that promises before elections are sweet, but actions after elections are often bitter.
” I plead with you to co-operate and collaborate with institutions which are tasked with the responsibilities for these elections,” Kukah advised.
He called on INEC, security agencies, the National Peace Committee, Civil Society Organisations and the entire people of Nigeria, to live up to the expectations on their responsibilities and always promote peace and cordial coexistence. (Watch Video Here)
The bishop cautioned Nigerians against spreading hatred but should always work to creating a vision that would unite the country and it’s good image in the world.
Christians in Kaduna State on Sunday joined their counterparts all over the world to celebrate Christmas with praises and thanksgiving.
As part of the celebration, Christian worshippers gathered in different churches within the state to thank God for being alive to witness another Christmas despite the socio-economic challenges they are facing. (Watch Video Here)
𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 monitored the services held at the Saint Michael’s Anglican Cathedral and St Joseph Catholic cathedral in Kaduna metropolis.
In his Christmas message, the Bishop of Kaduna Anglican Diocese, Most Reverend Timothy Yahaya expressed hope for better days ahead despite the present economic instability and security challenges confronting the nation.
While lamenting over the growing insecurity in the country, Bishop Yahaya called for the restructuring of the Nigerian Police Force through the creation of state and local government police in order to ensure more boots on the ground to secure all ungoverned spaces.
He also alleged that some bag eggs in the military who are benefiting from the present security challenges are truncating government’s effort to bring the attacks and killings to an end. (Watch Video Here)
Regarding the 2023 general elections, Bishop Yahaya warned politicians to play the game by the rules and to shun acts that are capable of compromising the elections, even as he urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to exercise caution in the implementation the cashless policy, noting that Nigeria is not yet ripe implement such policy holistically.
On his Part, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Most Reverend Mathew Ndagoso, also urged the federal government and the Independent National Electoral Commission to create an enabling environment for all citizens to participate in the 2023 elections, and also ensure that the exercise is free, fair and credible. (Watch Video Here)
Bishop Ndagoso also admonished citizens to get their Permanent Voter Cards and ensure they vote only for candidates with integrity and capacity to transform the country for good, insisting that the country can no longer be left in the hands of mediocre
“As we proceed with the festivities, I enjoin all to reflect on the virtues of giving and extending a hand of love and support to neighbours, friends and acquaintances.
“This celebration is a good opportunity to exchange gifts with loved ones, as well as others in need: those living in orphanages, in prisons, hospitals, and in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in the State.” (Watch Video Here)
The governor further noted, “I pray that this celebration will continue to foster love and unity among us all regardless of our cultural differences, creed, faith or social class.
“May the spirit of the celebration and brotherly kindness remain with us even after this season.”
Fans of the player, considered by many the greatest of all time, have been expressing hope for his recovery since he was hospitalised in Sao Paulo in late November. (Watch Video Here)
Shortly after midnight, at the start of Christmas Day, Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento posted a picture of the footballer’s wife, Marcia Aoki, and other family members gathered at the Albert Einstein Hospital where he is being treated. Pele was not visible in the image.
“Almost all of us. Merry Christmas. Gratitude, love, union, family. The essence of Christmas. We thank you all for all the love and light you send us,” Kely wrote.
On Wednesday, the hospital announced Pele’s colon cancer was showing “progression” and he needed “more extensive care to treat kidney and heart failure.” (Watch Video Here)
Earlier that day, his daughters had announced he would not be home for Christmas.
Pele took the 1958 World Cup by storm when he was 17 years old, netting a hat trick in the semifinals and two more goals in the final, catapulting his own career and launching the soccer dynasty of the Brazilian national team.
He is the only player in history to have won three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).
In recent years, the man dubbed “The King” has faced deteriorating health and his public appearances have grown rare. (Watch Video Here)
He was hospitalized on November 29 for what his medical team called a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatments, which he has been receiving since having surgery to remove a colon tumor in September 2021.
King Charles III has hailed the “heartfelt solidarity” of people across the recession-hit UK struggling with a worsening cost of living crisis, in his first Christmas Day message as monarch.
Addressing the country from the Windsor Castle chapel where his mother, Elizabeth II, was interred in September, the 74-year-old also thanked people for the “love and sympathy” expressed following her death. (Watch Video Here)
Standing aside a sparkling Christmas tree, the sovereign noted in the annual pre-recorded royal message — broadcast at 1500 GMT — that it is a “particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones”.
He then turned to the impact of the country’s growing economic woes, as decades-high inflation eats into earnings and escalates strikes over pay across the public and private sectors.
“I particularly want to pay tribute to all those wonderfully kind people who so generously give food or donations, or… their time, to support those around them in greatest need,” Charles said, dressed in a blue suit.
“Our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras have once again united in feeding the hungry, providing love and support throughout the year.” (Watch Video Here)
The king also commended charities for their “extraordinary work in the most difficult circumstances”.
He added: “Such heartfelt solidarity is the most inspiring expression of loving our neighbour as our self.”
Charles ascended to the throne when Elizabeth died on September 8 after a record-breaking seven-decade reign.
He also took over as head of state of 14 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
– ‘Compassion’ – His coronation will take place on May 6 next year, with Buckingham Palace vowing to reflect the monarchy’s historic traditions and its modern role. (Watch Video Here)
In his inaugural Christmas message, Charles said both he and his late mother shared “a belief in the extraordinary ability of each person to touch, with goodness and compassion, the lives of others”.
“This is the essence of our community and the very foundation of our society,” he added, praising public sector workers from the armed forces to emergency responders to teachers.
In a return to tradition for Britain’s royals — interrupted by the pandemic — they gathered for Christmas Day this year at Sandringham, their private winter retreat in eastern England. (Watch Video Here)
Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, 75, were joined by Prince William and wife Kate — and their children Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte — at a local church service.
Disgraced Prince Andrew, who has been sidelined over his links to the late US paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein and claims of sex with a minor, was also among the royals who greeted well-wishers outside.
However, US-based Prince Harry and wife Meghan were notable absentees, as their ongoing feud with the family shows little sign of abating. (Watch Video Here)
The couple risked deepening the rift — which first became public when they sensationally quit royal life in early 2020 — by airing various grievances in a six-part Netflix docuseries this month.
It follows a series of other broadsides they have launched against the royal family since relocating to California, with more set to come.
Harry will publish a contentious memoir — named “Spare” — within weeks
The revered cleric spoke during a sermon on Saturday themed ‘Perfect Gift’, aired live on his Facebook page and monitored by Channels Television. (Watch Video Here)
Speaking about how things would change for the better for people who have accepted Christ, the RCCG cleric used himself as an example. He illustrated how God can change the poor into the rich.
“Those of you who knew a little bit about my background, you will know that when they say something is from a rocky start, that means he started in serious poverty. My own rock was rock among rocks. My father was so poor, (that) poor people called him poor. The day he bought an umbrella, we were rejoicing,” Adeboye said.
“The elders have a saying. They say if there is hardship in the life of the husband, and hardship in the life of the wife, the hardship will rub off on the children. (Watch Video Here)
“It rubbed off on me. For the first 18 years of my life, I had no pair of shoes. That is how things were and then I received Jesus Christ. Then things began to change, look at me today.
“Way back to 1969, I was a lecturer in the University of Lagos. A little problem came into my life, the problem that all my mathematics couldn’t solve and then somebody offered me, Jesus. I thank God today that my head didn’t refuse something good. So I accepted Jesus and everything in my life began to change for the better.” (Watch Video Here)
Nigeria has the highest number of poor people in the world, after overtaking India in March 2022.
According to data by the World Poverty Clock, extremely poor people are those living on N800 per day (less than $2 per day).
In 2018, Nigeria held the position with about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. (Watch Video Here)
However, the new data revealed that about 83 million Indians have been plunged into extreme poverty in 2022, representing six percent of the country’s population which stands at 1.3 billion.
For Nigeria, WPC said 70 million people are living in extreme poverty, representing 33 percent of Nigeria’s over 200 million people. (Watch Video Here)
“Two vehicles were involved in the accident. A Toyota Haice bus with registration number AYB 88 XP and another vehicle with no registration number on it. (Watch Video Here)
“The suspected cause of the crash was excessive speed from the bus driver who made an attempt to overtake the truck, but was not successful, rather, he lost control and hit the truck at the rear and the truck did not stop.
“The injured victims were taken to Famobis Hospital for medical attention while the corpses were deposited at Idera Hospital morgue, Sagamu.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the celebration of Christmas brings hope, joy, God’s grace and relief to Nigerians. (Watch Video Here)
Mr Osinbajo spoke with State House correspondents on Sunday after the Christmas service at Aso Villa Chapel where he delivered the sermon. (Watch Video Here)
According to him, the celebration is good news because Jesus Christ offers himself for the sins of man.
“My message is the message of Christmas which is the birth of the new covenant; the birth of grace; God’s grace and mercy is what we celebrate today because the birth of Jesus Christ is the birth of the grace of God. (Watch Video Here)
“From the moment Christ was born, God said he was not going to hold us to account for our sins for as long as we believed in what he did; the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ came to pay in full for all of our sins.
“So, really why we celebrate is because this is good news; before, we had to pay for our sins; the consequence of sin we have to bear. (Watch Video Here)
“This is because we always continue to sin; but Jesus came to substitute all our unrighteousness and replace it with his own righteousness so (Watch Video Here) long as we believe him.
“So, it is a celebration of joy and a great relief; that is why it is called the good news,” he said.
On his part, Seyi Malomo, Chaplain, Aso Villa Chapel, said that Jesus Christ is a bringer of the new covenant; the covenant of Emmanuel; of God with us. (Watch Video Here)
According to him, one who has God lacks nothing.
“What’s most important is when you have God on your side; things are definitely bound to improve.
“And as we go into the New Year, with God on our side, no matter how and whatever may be the negative forecast of people, we know that God who goes ahead of us; will make the crooked place straight. (Watch Video Here)
“He will make the rough edges smooth; he will level the mountains and elevate the valleys and he will give us victory.
Four students of Kogi State Polytechnic have been abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in Ondo State. (Watch Clip Here)
The students were kidnapped by the gunmen along the Akunnu-Ajowa highway in the Akoko North West Area of Ondo State. (Watch Clip Here)
The victims were said to have been on their way home for Christmas and New Year celebrations when the gunmen waylaid the vehicle they were travelling in. (Watch Clip Here)
Following the development, the Ajowa community where the students were heading has been thrown into a panic raising tension among parents and other community members. (Watch Clip Here)
A source in the community told our reporter that the victims were kidnapped when they were almost getting to their destination of Ajowa.
The source further claimed the kidnappers were yet to make contact with any of the families of the abducted students. (Watch Clip Here)
Confirming the incident, the Commander of Police in Ikare-Akoko, ACP Muri Agboola, disclosed that his men have been combing forests along the Akunnu-Ajowa Akoko road in order to rescue the abducted students
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has told Nigerians not to lose hope, adding that God has not forgotten them. (Watch Video Here)
CAN President Archbishop Daniel C. Okoh, in a statement he signed on Saturday, reminded Nigerians of the unfailing and never-ending love of God. (Watch Video Here)
He noted that this period is significant and important to Nigerians, especially the Christians, because they are expecting the coming of a new leadership ordained by God to restore the fortunes of the country.
CAN noted that this year’s Christmas celebration has come 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. (Watch Video Here)
“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 (Watch Video Here) bellies which they have made into gods through greed, selfishness and blatant corruption,” the statement added.
“Nevertheless, the message of Christmas informs us that God will not abandon us,” CAN said. (Watch Video Here)
“Our political leaders, especially those jostling for the opportunity to lead our country out of the woods in 2023, should use this 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. (Watch Video Here)
“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 potentials in our dear country for national development. (Watch Video Here)
“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 realize 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.”
Governor Benedict Ayade has called on Nigerians to be patriotic and alive to their civic duty ahead of the forthcoming general elections in 2023. (Watch Video Here)
He asked Nigerians to ensure that they come out and vote for candidates of their choice.
This was contained in his Christmas message released on Saturday and signed by his media adviser, Mr Christian Ita. (Watch Video Here)
Governor Ayade maintained that Nigeria was now at that bend when love was needed as a balm to heal and bind the people.
“We must be meek to one another, pull together and support one another. It is the only way that we can (Watch Video Here) mend the chasm and build bridges of unity as a nation. This season of Christmas has afforded us a unique opportunity to achieve that,” he further enjoined. (Watch Video Here)
Ayade charged Christians to use the opportunity of the Christmas celebration to reaffirm their love and compassion towards one another.
Ayade urged them to reflect on the import of the birth of the saviour, Jesus Christ and its redemptive hope to Billions of Christians around the world and reignite the flame of love exemplified in Christ’s birth. (Watch Video Here)
Ayade said Christians should rededicate themselves to the values of love, peace, sacrifice and tolerance as necessary ingredients for peaceful coexistence. (Watch Video Here)
“Christmas underpins the redemptive role of Christ to mankind, just as it stresses the pivotal place of sacrifice, necessary for a peaceful and harmonious world.
“So, as Christians, we must remind ourselves that love is the first requirement for a better and peaceful world.”
Enthusiastic Christians in Kaduna have continued to prepare for the celebrations despite the apparent hardship in society. (Watch Video Here)
Noble Reporters Media observed men and women, young and old, early on Saturday morning trooping to slaughterhouses for their meats. (Watch Video Here)
In Kakuri, Sabon-Tasha, Angwar Tarke, Nassarawa, Kasuwan visited by our correspondent, many residents were seen roasting and cooking their chickens and goats.
Although some residents had earlier expressed worry over (Watch Video Here) the cost of food items, meat and condiments in the market ahead of Christmas, they are, however, spending the much-needed funds to make merry during the season. (Watch Video Here)
A resident, Dr. Samuel Adoyi who works with St. Gerald hospital, Kaduna said, ” Christmas is once in a year. I must celebrate and make provision, no matter the cost of foodstuff and meat.”
Mrs. Juliet Obonyilo, a market woman in Sabon Tasha, said Christmas is not a do-or-die celebration and that she would celebrate if she has the purchasing power. (Watch Video Here)
“I can not because of Christmas borrow money and I cannot pay. I cannot because of Christmas steal food or meat. I will only do things according to my reach.” She said.
Former President of the Senate, David Mark has urged Nigerians to renew hope and faith in God in the quest to find lasting solutions to the socio -Economic and political challenges facing the nation. (Watch Video Here)
Senator Mark in a goodwill message to Nigerians marking this year’s Christmas celebration said there is a need to seek refuge in God saying “ if all things fail, God never fails”.
He canvassed for religious harmony between and among various groups saying that peaceful coexistence is needed for development to take place. (Watch Video Here)
The former Senate helmsman bemoaned occasional religious conflicts in the land and called on religious leaders to do more in preaching the good news of peace, love and good neighbourliness. (Watch Video Here)
Specifically, Senator Mark urged the Christian faithful to not forget the essence of Christmas on the altar of merriment saying “Jesus Christ came to redeem mankind, preached the message of peace, love, forgiveness and help for the needy”.
He urged the religious to educate their followers on the need to be their brothers’ keepers at all times pointing out that “nobody can live a life of loneliness or isolation. We need each other to make the world a better place”. (Watch Video Here)
The Kaduna State chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has called on Nigerians to have a deeper reflection on Christmas, the birth of Christ, as the ultimate gift ever given in the existence of the world for its salvation. (Watch Video Here)
In a Christmas message to Nigerians, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, said, “It is a symbolic gift that aims at exemplifying to us believers the importance of giving and the fact that (Watch Video Here) there is absolutely no limit or boundaries to giving.”
He said the major theme of Christmas is selfless giving, which is why Christ was given and enjoined Nigerians to make selfless giving for the entire country’s development. (Watch Video Here)
He added that Nigeria at the moment needed the Christ-like sacrifice for every Nigerian for the best to come of the country and for it to compete favourably with other countries, saying that the country has all that is needed to be the pacesetter in every sphere of life. (Watch Video Here)
Rev. Hayab, who is the Country Director, of Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, further explained that Christ was gifted effortlessly to the womb that conceived him, adding that (Watch Video Here) when he came, he was birthed in an inn that was not paid for, freely did the wise men from the East embark on the journey to the place of the blessed birth, for nothing but to give him gifts, royal, priestly and prophetic gifts. “Nigerians should also learn to give from their hearts to make Nigeria a better place for humanity to live in and its overall development,” he added. (Watch Video Here)
He explained, “Even during His ministry, He feed people from bread and fish gotten freely, and he ended his life as a free gift for the salvation of mankind. Indeed it will not be far fetched to say, “giving is the reason for the season, pointing out, “Our nation Nigeria today is dealing with the toughest of all times, things seem to be moving in regression, we do not seem to be growing as a nation, daily people die out of starvation, ill-health, poverty to mention but these. The fact is that our nation Nigeria is in dare need of kind hearted citizens who are willing to give there all for the survival of the nation and people.”
According to him, there is no better time when this nation ever needed the show of kindness than this material time, saying that as Christ selflessly gave himself, so also Nigerians are called to selfless sacrifice to those in need of unity, peace and development of the country, believing that it is the only way the country will overcome every challenge it is going through at the moment.
Hayab noted that as leaders during this season, Nigerians must continually teach their people the importance of giving not only within this season but as long as they live on earth, saying that the act of giving is not only for the old or young, rich or poor, mighty or lowly, no, as long as people are alive, they have what someone needs to gain hope again as someone needs a meal, a kind word, a hug, a smile, a little amount of money to have hope in life again.
This season, according to him, calls on Nigerians to attend to the needs of others.
“We are not blessed by the amount that we give; we are blessed by the quality of our gift, a gift should be given in love with the sole purpose of meeting the needs of others. This is an attitude parents should teach there children from their childhood; as scripture says, when we train a child, he will grow and not depart from the right path. This is a call to action not words, parents should provide for their children and guide them to picking what have been provided for them to give other people around them that are in need,” he added.
Rev. Hayab explained that there are many children out there that need just the fragments of the old tattered toy that children of the rich no longer need; some need those clothes that some children can no longer wear; parents should be seen at the season, and beyond guiding their children to picking these things and gifting other children within their reach, churches, societies, associations and individuals should be seen at this season meeting the needs of others, true love should be seen around, kindness should be felt in each street, neighbourhood, village, town, city, and anywhere souls breathe.
He called on Nigerians that as they celebrate the season, may heavens be kind to them, may God protect Nigerians all and may he grant them the grace to be able to live up to their expectations in this season that, in the end, the name of the Lord alone will be glorified, stressing that Nigerians should not forget not to let this season pass by without them giving something to someone in need and make Christ always live in them by keeping the virtue of giving even after the yuletide season.
Ahead of his December show at the Afrika Shrine, controversial Nigerian singer and songwriter, Habeeb Okikiola, a.k.a Portable, on Thursday paid a visit to the ancestral home of Afrobeat musician Fela Anikulapo. (Watch Video Here)
Portable, who made the revelation in a post accompanied by a clip on his Instagram page, described his visit as a homage. (Watch Video Here)
He said, “Came to pay homage to my daddy, December 28 Portable in live concert, come and enjoy what is called entertainment. Akoi one million fans, see you soon @femiakuti, @yeniakuti.”
Portable, who during his visit got the opportunity to meet Femi Kuti, the first son of the genre’s pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was later seen with veteran media personality Yeni Kuti, the eldest daughter of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo. (Watch Video Here)
The outspoken Nigerian singer is one of the most consistent Nigerian entertainers.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has called on eligible voters not to vote for politicians with criminal tendencies and those who strive on lies.(Watch Video Here)
Governor Ortom, who stated this in a goodwill message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, called for inter-religious cooperation to engender peace and harmonious coexistence.
He said occasional conflicts between and among various religions would never reoccur if the inter-religious dialogue is sustained. (Watch Video Here)
The Governor then urged Christians in the country to remain steadfast in prayer to the almighty God to intervene in the myriads of security and socio-economic and political challenges facing the nation. (Watch Video Here)
He enjoined them not to undermine the essence of the Christmas celebration on the altar of merriment, saying, “the sanctity of the birth of Jesus Christ, which is the reason for the celebration, is to re-enact the spirit of love, peace, good neighbourliness and forgiveness which our saviour preached.”
Governor Ortom particularly thanked the people of Benue State for their resilience and continued support and cooperation since 2015, when he was first elected as Governor of the State and enjoined them to remain steadfast to face the challenges ahead. (Watch Video Here)
On the forthcoming general elections, Governor Ortom called on the people of the State and Nigeria to “vote in leaders who will be committed to the security of people and promote the well-being and development of the country. This is the only way we can rescue Nigeria from the poor leadership the outgoing APC administration has taken us to.
“In 2023 elections, we must look beyond partisan political lines to elect leaders who have been tested and trusted. Not those with criminal tendencies and thrive on lies, falsehood and deceit as their signature traits,” he emphasised. (Watch Video Here)
He then urged all Nigerians to be vigilant during this festive season, cooperate with the security agencies, and report every suspicious movement (Watch Video Here) of criminal elements in and around their areas, particularly the terrorists invading our communities to kill and displace our people from their ancestral homes. (Watch Video Here)
He was however optimistic that the coming year would be prosperous for all citizens as the government was determined to clear all the bottlenecks hindering smooth administration.
The Governor reiterated that he would leave Benue State better than he met it.
The Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, says he will spend his Christmas at the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Idah and Ibaji, Kogi State. (Watch Video Here)
This was contained in a statement signed by Ahmed Mohammed, the Kogi State chairman of the party, and made available to journalists in Lokoja by the state publicity secretary, Idakwo Emmanuel, on Friday. (Watch Video Here)
The LP chairman disclosed that Obi will join other Catholic faithful from Kogi State for the celebration.
“In the spirit of the joyful season, His Excellency, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Gregory Obi, will be celebrating Christmas day, December 25 with less privileged living in the IDP camps around Idah and Ibaji areas,” the statement partly read. (Watch Video Here)
He further encouraged all patriots to stay motivated as the party works together to achieve a new Nigeria that everyone would be proud of
Former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan has sent a goodwill message to Nigerians at Christmas in which he called for love, unity and peace among Christians and others around the world. (Watch Video Here)
In a statement released by his media office on Friday, Dr Jonathan urged Nigerians to “approach this season of Christmas with optimism and renewed faith in ourselves and our country.”
He further stated: “At Christmas, we celebrate love, hope and joy, which the birth of Jesus heralds to the world. As individuals and as a nation, we face different challenges. But we should not allow that to weaken our faith in God and our country, as well as imperil our shared promise of greatness and prosperity. (Watch Video Here)
“Let us approach this season of Christmas with optimism and renewed faith in ourselves and our country. Let us exhibit love, tolerance, a sense of unity and peace towards our neighbours and all around (Watch Video Here) us during this season and beyond. Merry Christmas.”
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has promised Nigerians that they will not spend their next Christmas queuing for petrol at filling stations if he is voted President come February. (Watch Video Here)
Atiku said this in his Christmas message signed on his behalf by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, late on Saturday.
He noted that the All Progressives Congress-led regime has set a new record of the longest petrol scarcity in the history of Nigeria.
Shaibu invited Nigerians to recall that the latest round of petrol scarcity started in January 2022 on account of the importation of dirty petrol high in methanol. (Watch Video Here)
According to him, the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, explained at the time that the petrol was brought in from Belgium.
The House of Representatives led by Femi Gbajabiamila, opened a probe into the matter but nothing has been heard about the investigation till date. This is not surprising since it is an APC affair. (Watch Video Here)
He said, “Based on estimates from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the media reported that NNPC may have spent about N201 billion worth of clean Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), to clean the 170.25 million litres of dirty petrol. Still, no one was sacked for bringing the country to its knees. (Watch Video Here)
“After a few weeks of respite, the petrol scarcity continued yet again in May as oil marketers complained about the outstanding payment of bridging claims incurred by dealers for the transportation of petroleum products across the country. (Watch Video Here)
“The NNPC claimed the queues in Abuja and most parts of the north were caused by (Watch Video Here) panic buying.
“The scarcity stretched into September with the NNPC claiming that the floods in Kogi and other states had prevented truck drivers from coming up north.
“In November the government again claimed that the petrol scarcity was caused by the road repairs in Lagos and the inability of truck drivers to move products timely. (Watch Video Here)
“With the fuel scarcity now continuing till December, the government has run out of excuses even as most Nigerians are now at the mercy of black marketers who sell petrol as high as N500 per litre. (Watch Video Here)
“ The NNPC which is the sole importer of petrol has failed to live up to its duties, clear evidence that its privatisation is merely cosmetic. (Watch Video Here)
“But the biggest culprit in this mess is President Muhammadu Buhari who is the minister of petroleum.
“It is saddening that he has failed to bring succour to Nigerians who are suffering from the worsening inflation, unemployment and insecurity.“
He further said, “It is disheartening that a country that claims to spend $40m daily on petrol subsidy cannot still make the product available to its people. (Watch Video Here)
“This is clear evidence that the monies are going into private pockets ahead of elections at the expense of Nigerians.
“The APC which is running for a third term through the person of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is now promising renewed hope after dashing the hopes of millions of Nigerians for the last eight years.
“It is exasperating that Tinubu is promising to remove petrol subsidy when his party has retained it for the last seven years and spent billions of dollars subsidising criminality. It is obvious that Tinubu’s statement is an indictment on Buhari.
“Nigerians have suffered too much in these last seven years . A country which has been unable to meet its OPEC quota at a time of oil boom is now witnessing an unprecedented petrol scarcity that has brought economic activities to its knees across the country.
“Atiku Abubakar hereby promises Nigerians that this will be their last Christmas that will be spent at a filling station queuing for petrol. Voting APC in February will be a reinforcement of failure which could push Nigeria into an existential crisis. To Nigerians, we say the ability to change your destiny lies in your hands. Merry Christmas.”
Family members visited the legendary Pele on Saturday at the Sao Paulo hospital where he is suffering from worsening cancer as well as kidney and heart problems, according to a social media post by his daughter. (Watch Video Here)
Edinho, Pele’s son — who was recently appointed coach of Serie B football club Londrina, based in Parana in the north — arrived on Christmas Eve at the medical center, where he joined his sisters Flavia and Kely Nascimento. (Watch Video Here)
“He arrived,” Kely wrote on her Instagram next to a photo with Edinho, and another with daughters Sophia and Stephany.
The ex-goalkeeper arrived a day after having explained his absence at his father’s side to local media. (Watch Video Here)
“I would like to be present, but I am committed to my mission here. I’m not a doctor, I couldn’t really help much,” he said in an interview published on Friday by the daily Estadao.
That same day, Kely shared a photo of herself hugging her 82-year-old father in the hospital with the caption “one more night together.” (Watch Video Here)
On Wednesday, the Albert Einstein Hospital, where the three-time World Cup winner is staying, announced that his colon cancer was showing “progression” and he needed “more extensive care to treat kidney and heart failure.”
Earlier that day his daughters had announced he would not be home for Christmas. (Watch Video Here)
The atmosphere was calm outside of the hospital on Saturday, according to AFP.
Pele is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time and has received several messages of support since his hospitalization, including from the French star Kylian Mbappe, who called on followers to “pray for the King.” (Watch Video Here)
Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo on November 29 for what his medical team called a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatments, which he has been receiving since having surgery to remove a colon tumor in September 2021. (Watch Video Here)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has stressed the need for Nigerians, especially residents to continue to live in peace and harmony as they celebrate the Christmas.
He also called the residents to celebrate the season of the birth of Jesus Christ, with moderation. (Watch Video Here)
Sanwo-Olu, who made the remarks, in his Christmas message on Saturday, while speaking to newsmen in Lagos, reiterated his administration’s commitment to delivering more dividends of democracy to (Watch Video Here) residents of the state in the years ahead.
The governor, therefore, urged them to protect and use the infrastructure provided by the government very well so that incoming generations can also enjoy the dividends of democracy.
According to Sanwo-Olu: “2022 has been a year of several things for us but it has been a year of prosperity for Lagos; a year in which we have broken all barriers that hinder us before now and you can see purposeful development. (Watch Video Here)
“You can see that our THEMES agenda this year has touched all of our pillars and I cannot begin to role them out here today. (Watch Video Here)
“I just want to assure our citizens that the government and the people of Lagos State will continue to be law-abiding.
“We will continue to live in peace and harmony among ourselves, (Watch Video Here) and even as we go into this yuletide season let us celebrate with moderation and know that the season is for us also to reflect and ensure that as New Year comes in, it is for bigger and greater things to happen.”
Sanwo-Olu, also urged residents to perform their civic responsibilities during the next year’s general elections and the 2023 Population and Housing Census. (Watch Video Here)(Watch Video Here)
He said: “Next year is very important for our country because it is a year for the general elections. It is also a year for the national census. So, we all have to be on the same page.
“We have to know that we have a responsibility as citizens to perform our civil role in all of these activities and to ensure that all of the assets of the government are preserved and are used well.
“People must continue to ensure that they protect and they use infrastructure well so that generations coming behind us can also enjoy the dividends of democracy.”
Also, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyitolu, has urged residents to be safety conscious during the festive period to prevent avoidable disaster of lives and property.
Oke-Osanyintolu, also appealed to citizens to abide by safety regulations to prevent emergencies.
LASEMA PS, made the remarks, while fielding questions from newsmen at the six-lesson Christmas Carol, themed; “Prince of Peace,” organised by the Agency for its staff and associates, hekd at Alausa, Ikeja, organised to thank God for the out-going year and to usher in the new year.
Oke-Osanyintolu, who assured residents of the agency’s responsiveness and preparedness, reminded residents that risk mitigation, prevention and emergency management is everyone’s responsibility.
In an address, the PS LASEMA, explained that the event was organised to show appreciation to God that emergency cases were minimal in the state in the outgoing year and improved achievements since the establishment of the Agency 15 years ago.
He also cautioned residents against storage of inflammabl products such as Premium Motor Spirit, PMS,. popularly called Petrol, diesel and other substances capable of destroying lives and property.
The Special Guest of Honor and wife of the Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-olu, who was represented by the wife of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mrs Ogunsanwo, also read the sixth lesson
The Christmas carol programme witnessed various dancing and singing skills as some gospel artistes and the LASEMA in-house choirs dished out thanksgiving songs as well as traditional carol hymns to the delight of the audience
The usual beehive of last-minute shopping by residents stocking up in preparation for their home-cooked Christmas meals was nowhere to been seen at Utako market in Abuja. (Watch Video Here)
Channels Television reports that prices of food items such as rice, beans and chicken had also increased. A bag of rice sold for N30,000 last year now costs between N40,000 and N45,000. (Watch Video Here) A 10-litre bottle of cooking oil is sold for N15,000 and 25 litres costs between N30,000 and N35,000. Prices of perishable goods are also on the rise. A small basket of tomatoes now goes for between N2,500 and N3,000. (Watch Video Here)
Sellers complained about low turnout of customers. One merchant said, “We expected that this Christmas, we would have good business but maybe because elections are near and people have started campaigning, we haven’t seen a lot of interest from customers. People are complaining that there is no money and prices are going up every day. So, the amount of business we expected is not there.” (Watch Video Here)
In the same vein, some buyers blamed the hike on inflation and closure of the nation’s borders.
One shopper said, “The prices of tomatoes, peppers, chicken, goat meat, you don’t even talk about turkey – you can’t afford it! It’s just God (we need) to help us. Inflation (is) not only in Nigeria; even in advanced countries. (Watch Video Here)
“But what I am very concerned about is the ordinary man on the street. How is he going to cope? I may be able to cope. But how about the command man? How is he going to buy Christmas clothes for his children if you have four or five?”
Another pointed out that food items were “extremely expensive” compared to last year. “Some of the things you would buy before, like chicken – the one you bought last week for N10,000, today it’s N12,000 or N15,000,” she said.
Though the increase in prices of food prices and livestock becoming the usual practice during festive seasons, the effect on Nigerians this Yuletide has been notable. Their appeal to the government is for new policies that will cushion the effects of the hardships on citizens in the coming year. (Watch Video Here)
President Muhammadu Buhari, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and governors have called on Nigerians to show love and live in peace with one another as they mark this year’s Christmas. (Watch Video Here)
In his message on Saturday, Buhari urged them to set aside their differences and celebrate the joy and love that the season brings.(Watch Video Here
“I heartily rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters on the occasion of this year’s Christmas,” Buhari, who leaves office next year, said.
“Many of us look forward to this festive season as a time to travel, share gifts, spend quality time with family and friends, attend special carols and events, and generally relive the good moments of the year. In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, Christmas is a period when we come together to rejoice and set aside our differences.”
Christmas in the past seven years, he added, has brought some cherished memories with the 2022 edition coming as his last one as Nigeria’s leader.
Hours after Buhari’s comment, CAN came with another message of hope for the country which the body said is in a “precarious situation”.
The CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, who signed the message, said Nigeria is suffering from insecurity, a harsh economy, and others. (Watch Video Here)
Inflation is running at more than 21 percent — the worst since 2005. According to the latest official figures, 63 percent of Nigerians — 133 million people — suffer from “multidimensional poverty,” a metric that includes child mortality, access to electricity, and clean water.
Despite these, the umbrella Christian body said “religious and political leaders, as well as the media, should use this Christmas season to reinforce the hope of the masses in a better, more peaceful, and secure Nigeria come 2023. (Watch Video Here)
“Let the Yuletide season be a period of strengthening ourselves and others; reminding one another that there is no difficult situation that the presence of Jesus cannot address; giving hope to the hopeless; comforting the oppressed and being the voice of the voiceless.
“The prophecies of the birth of our Lord assure us His enduring presence which delivers from all troubles and will surely restore the dignity and joy of our dear country, Nigeria.”
‘Love At Its Heart’
In this file photo, a vehicle is driven past Christmas lights illuminating a roundabout ahead of the festive seasons at Victoria Island in Lagos, on December 17, 2018. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP
State governors in their Christmas messages also re-echoed hope and love, telling Nigerians that though the country may be facing several challenges on different fronts, things will pan out better.
“I join the Christian faithful in our dear Rivers State and the entire world in celebrating the joyous occasion of Christmas,” Governor Nyesom Wike said.
“As we remember the true meaning of this glorious festivity, may we emulate the Lord Jesus Christ’s love, and kindness by extending our hands to the less privileged among us.”
On his part, Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State described Christmas as a period marked by love, compassion, sacrifice, selflessness, and forgiveness among others.
“I celebrate with all Christians on this joyous occasion of commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Love, compassion, sacrifice, selflessness, and forgiveness are the basis for the celebration so I urge all Nigerlites to use this period to reflect and practice these principles for a better society,” his message read.
Governor Ademola Adeleke shared similar sentiments with his Niger counterpart and reminded Nigerians not to forget the essence of the season.
“This season is another opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the true teachings of Jesus Christ, which has love at its heart. In love, we will have no trouble enduring each others’ differences and live in harmony, which holds the key to prosperity,” he added.
“As much as I share in the joy that comes with the period, may I indulge us not to forget the very essence of the celebration, and in that regard, ensure we use the occasion to bond with our neighbours and more, help the needy.”
“I just want to assure our citizens that the government and the people of Lagos State will continue to be law-abiding,” Governor Sanwo-Olu told Lagosians in his Christmas message.
“We will continue to live in peace and harmony among ourselves, and even as we go into this yuletide season let us celebrate with moderation and know that the season is for us also to reflect and ensure that as New Year comes in, it is for bigger and greater things to happen.”
In the same vein, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom called for peace and religious tolerance between and among different adherents of faith as the antidote to occasional conflicts in the country.
Ortom in a goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate this year’s Christmas celebration, called for inter-religious cooperation that will engender peace and harmonious coexistence. He urged Christians in the country to remain steadfast in prayer to the almighty God to intervene in the myriads of security, socio-economic and political challenges facing the nation.
The governor enjoined Christians not to undermine the essence of the Christmas celebration on the altar of merriment, saying, “The sanctity of the birth of Jesus Christ which is the reason for the celebration is to re-enact the spirit of love, peace, good neighbourliness and forgiveness which our saviour preached.”
Joining to send Christmas goodwill message to Nigerian Christians, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, enjoined Christians to spread the messages of love, peace, hope and tolerance which Jesus Christ preached by personal example.
He said the life and teachings of Jesus Christ enjoins His followers through holy living to be the light and salt that make the world brighter and better for mankind.
Senator Lawan assured that the National Assembly will continue to promote good governance to overcome the development challenges and set Nigeria firmly on the path of progress, peace and unity.
See Buhari and CAN’s full statements below:
PRESIDENT BUHARI’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2022
I heartily rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters on the occasion of this year’s Christmas.
Many of us look forward to this festive season as a time to travel, share gifts, spend quality time with family and friends, attend special carols and events, and generally relive the good moments of the year. In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, Christmas is a period when we come together to rejoice and set aside our differences.
For me and my family, this year’s celebration is unique. It is my last as your elected President. Twenty-two weeks from now, this administration will hand over to another.
In the last seven years, I have had the privilege of receiving members of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) community on Christmas homage, except the year the COVID-19 pandemic denied us that opportunity. I will fondly remember them as my benevolent landlords and friendly neighbours.
It is crucial that I remember this about my closest neighbours because there is no better way for us to celebrate Christmas as a people than showing genuine love, care, compassion and empathy for one another.
We must never lose sight of the symbiotic relationship between Christmas and hope; Jesus Christ and humility, Christianity and grace.
In this season of love, joy and peace, let us not fail to remember those who really wish to celebrate but are constrained in one way or the other by reaching out to them.
Together we can make this celebration a spectacular one by renewing our pledge and common resolve to work for the unity and prosperity of our dear country.
Until my last day in office, I will continue to provide political and material support to sub-national governments, the Armed Forces, institutions and individuals working wholeheartedly for the peace, unity, stability and progress of Nigeria.
The advances we have made so far on the economic front, especially in infrastructure; food security, anti-corruption, security, energy sufficiency, among others, will need to be built on.
This joyous season has coincided with the period of campaigns to usher in a new administration. I urge you to be circumspect and vote for those that will maintain the momentum we have created for the greater good of the country.
It is another opportunity to show the rest of the world that Nigeria is indeed ready to consolidate its democratic credentials as has been noted in international circles. Let the peace and joy that pervade this period continue well into the new year up to the elections in February and beyond.
I want to assure Nigerians that those who violently seek to disrupt the peace of our nation have lost the battle.
Our country is blessed with a wealth of human and material resources. Let’s celebrate our blessings this season with the trust that a better dawn awaits Nigeria.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas.
Muhammadu Buhari December 24, 2022
CAN PRESS STATEMENT
For Immediate Release
December 24, 2022
Christmas: Be hopeful, God has not forsaken Nigeria
1. Another season of Christmas is here again. It is that time of the year when Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God. As people who believe in Him, we are reminded of the unfailing and never-ending love of God for us. The story of Christmas tells us of God’s loving intervention in the human situation of helplessness and hopelessness.
2. Jesus is the promised Messiah, who fulfils God’s promise of eternal salvation and deliverance for His people at a time when they were neglected, exploited and oppressed by selfish and corrupt leaders (Isaiah 11:6-10). It is in this context that the significance and importance of the birth of Christ radiates brilliantly for us, as a people and a nation, because we are expecting the coming of a new leadership ordained by God to restore the fortunes of our country and ensure peace, justice and righteousness in the land.
3. 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.
4. 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 provide us with inspiration to speak the language of peace to our neighbours regardless of differences in religion, ethnicity or political leanings.
5. Our political leaders, especially those jostling for the opportunity to lead our country out of the woods in 2023, should use this 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 Lords favour (Lk 4:18-19). 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 potentials in our dear country for national development.
6. 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 realize 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.
8. 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, and of love, and of sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). Religious and political leaders as well as the media should use this Christmas season to reinforce the hope of the masses in a better, more peaceful and secure Nigeria come 2023.
9. Let the Yuletide season be a period of strengthening ourselves and others; reminding one another that there is no difficult situation that the presence of Jesus cannot address; giving hope to the hopeless; comforting the oppressed and being the voice of the voiceless. The prophecies of the birth of our Lord assures us His enduring presence which delivers from all troubles and will surely restore the dignity and joy of our dear country, Nigeria.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in advance!