By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
As Christians across the world celebrate Christmas and New Year season, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, enjoined Nigerians to make moderation and thanksgiving their watchwords during and beyond the festive period.
The Governor, in his Christmas goodwill message to the residents of the state, maintained that as the Year 2020 has been a most challenging one, those fortunate enough to survive the vicissitudes of the year, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, must return glory to God and approach the season with thanksgiving and celebrate with moderation.
Prince Abiodun cautioned that with the second wave of COVID-19, Christmas celebrations should be done with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols issued by the federal government as adopted in the State to keep up the fight against the dreaded virus during the festive season. He called attention to the increasing numbers of coronavirus infections worldwide with the same pattern already noticeable in Nigeria and urged people to think very carefully about their holiday season plans, especially merrymaking.
In his words: “The festive season is normally a time to show love, relax and celebrate but the current situation as occasioned by COVID-19 is far from the ideal.
“Celebrations in approved size of social gatherings without observing the precautions such as social distancing, use of face masks and regular hand washing can very quickly turn to avenues for super spread of the virus and undermine the gains we have recorded so far in the fight against this common enemy. Christmas is a season of love and giving. And I think the best way to show love and the best gift to give this season is the gift of health to ourselves and our loved ones during this Yuletide season and beyond.”
“I urge us all to continue to give thanks to the Almighty from the depth of our hearts as survivors of the dreaded coronavirus and 2020. We are all beneficiaries of divine benevolence, grace and glory. So as we honour and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we must not be carefree in our conduct and we must be considerate about public health and safety.”
Above all, Gov. Abidoun admonished Nigerians to embrace the virtues and essence of Christmas. “The season symbolizes Jesus Christ – the harbinger of peace, love, good tidings and hope. It therefore behoves us all to manifest the essence of this season by showing love, being our brother’s keeper and keeping hope of a better future alive” he said.
The governor further urged all residents of the State to “ensure that all the positives of Christmas do not end with the festive period but that they consciously act to keep the generosity, restraint, modesty, love and the happiness that make Christmas a special season into their daily lives and living, so that every day after Christmas would be a special day”.