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Easter: Governors, senators beg Nigerians, say hardship over soon


President Bola Tinubu

As Christians celebrate Easter, governors, senators, and other prominent individuals have urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the face of the economic challenges in the country.

In their various Easter messages on Sunday, they expressed confidence that economic reforms being implemented by President Bola Tinubu would soon end hardship in the country.

The President on his assumption of office on May 29, 2023, abolished the costly fuel subsidy, which had drained the country’s revenue as the nation spent N1. 57tn to subsidise fuel in 2021 and N4.39tn in 2022.

However, the fuel subsidy removal has led to a significant increase in fuel prices and impacted transportation costs and overall household expenses with prices of food, building materials, and other items skyrocketing.

The President’s decision has however increased funds accrued to states and local governments. The subsidy removal increased the average monthly disbursement from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee to about N1.09tn, against the previous average figure of N620bn.

Tinubu’s administration also unified the exchange rate. He pledged to double the annual economic growth rate to at least six percent. The reforms aim to create an environment conducive to investment, job creation, and economic prosperity.

In his Easter message, the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum,  called on the Christian community in the state and Nigeria to pray for Tinubu to succeed in administering the affairs of Nigeria.

Zulum’s Easter message was contained in a statement by his aide on New Media, Abdurrahman Bundi.

He said, “Let me, on this auspicious occasion, felicitate our Christian brothers and sisters in Borno and throughout the country. I urge us all in this solemn period to commit to prayers for the development and prosperity of our dear country and to our President Tinubu, for God’s guidance and wisdom to steer the affairs of Nigeria for greatness.”

Also, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno, urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by the economic downturn the nation was facing but to be hopeful of a better tomorrow.

This was contained in his Easter broadcast in Uyo on Sunday titled “He Arose that We may Arise.”

Eno said, “This is a season of trial and victory. Our nation and our state may be going through a period of trial and tribulation but as Christ overcame death with victory at His resurrection, we too, will overcome our economic challenges with growth and abundance. I ask for your continuous support, prayers, unity, and love amongst our people.

“So my fellow Akwaibomites, as we celebrate Easter, let us remain hopeful that the future looks great, our collective dreams for prosperity across all layers of the society are realisable.”

On his part, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, urged Nigerians to be hopeful of a better tomorrow and to have faith in the country’s current leadership.

Abiodun said, “ Let us reflect on the significance of this holy season and strive to emulate the teachings of love, compassion, and selflessness demonstrated by Jesus Christ. May the spirit of Easter inspire us to promote unity, peace, and understanding in our communities and the nation.”

‘Be Christ-like’

His Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu called on residents to be Christ-like by reducing the cost of commodities as the naira appreciates against the dollar.

The naira depreciated to to N1,800/$ in February. However, in recent weeks, following some sweeping reforms by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the naira launched an impressive rebound in March, appreciating by 26 per cent to N1,300.

Advising Lagosian at the Combined Special Prayer for Nigeria and President Bola Tinubu in commemoration of Easter and Ramadan celebrations, on Friday in Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu said hardship would soon end.

He stated, “It’s beginning to turn around, that’s what we said a couple of weeks ago there’s nothing difficult that will last forever.

“Even at the national level, a naira that we all thought would never rebound is becoming stronger. it’s gaining weight and becoming a lot more of the currency that we all appreciate.

“You can even see from the policies that the Federal Government is bringing out, Naira savings are now the order of the day.

“You should be happy as Nigerians that we are holding on to our currency and which will improve our exchange of value,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said this needed to reflect in the markets, as the currency was getting stronger and better.

“There’s a need to see the reflection in the cost of goods and services; people can not continue to give reasons while it went up, and now that it’s coming down, it also needs to reflect in the cost of rice, beans, tomatoes and that is the message for all of us because we want to be our brother’s keepers.

Also, the Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, urged Deltans and other Nigerians to show love to one another and be willing to make sacrifices for the nation’s greater unity, peace, and progress.

Oborevwori, in his Easter message signed by his aide, Mr Festus Ahon, in Asaba on Sunday said, “As Christians, we must reflect on the importance of Easter celebrations in our dealings, not only with other Christians but with people of other faiths and convictions.’’

More so, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, called on the people of the state to use the period of the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to show more love to one another.

This was contained in an Easter message issued through his aide, Mr Ebenezer Adeniyan, on Sunday.

Aiyedatiwa said, “As you forgive, the Lord will relieve you of anger, resentment, and pain and bring you peace.

“I urge you to increase your love for one another rather than hate and show more patriotic commitment to the development of our state. Let us remember that the scriptural emphasis of love has so much relevance for us today as a people more than ever before, and thus contributes towards the peace and development of our State.

“I wish you all a joyful and blessed Easter. Happy celebrations.”

The Abia of State Governor, Alex Otti, o said in the quest to build an economically vibrant state, the welfare of the citizens was uppermost in the mind of his administration and that no sacrifice was too big to improve the lives of the people.

Otti, in his Easter message on Sunday titled, “To live the ideals of the risen Christ”, said, “Whether it is in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of long-abandoned roads; reset of the healthcare delivery system; improved security of life and property in our various communities; or in keeping to our promise of prompt and regular payment of salaries and pensions; our objective is always clear: to improve the lot of the average person who lives or does business in Abia.”

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