By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th December 2021 as public holidays for Christmas celebrations.
It has also declared Monday, 3rd January 2022 as a public holiday to mark New Year’s Day celebrations.
The declarations were contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja and signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore.
The statement quoted the Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola felicitating with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
“We must emulate the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on Humility, Service, Compassion, Patience, Peace and Righteousness, that His birth signifies,” said the minister.
“This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth.”
He stressed that peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity and urged Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of insecurity bedevilling our dear nation.
Aregbesola also enjoined all Nigerians to adhere strictly to and observe all the stipulated COVID-19 protocols and guidelines such as wearing of facemasks, frequent washing of hands with soap and water, using of hand sanitiser and avoidance of large groups.
“Moderately celebrate the festival without large groupings and observe all the protocols stipulated by medical authorities. Take it as a point of personal responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus,” the minister said.