Yemi Osinbajo, the vice president, has urged Nigerians to remain unfazed and unconcerned by the difficulties the country is now facing as it gears up for the 2023 elections.
He also expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome its challenges and hold the elections and population count without hostility.
During the 2022 Service of Nine Lessons and Carols conducted on Sunday night at the National Christian Centre in Abuja, Osinbajo, who was in attendance in the person of Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, shared these opinions.
The vice president delivered a message of hope, urging people to adopt a more optimistic outlook and alter the way they perceive the nation’s current difficulties.
Your celebration’s theme this year is “Fear Not,” he remarked. Even as we get closer to 2023, which has been described as a year when Nigeria appears to be at a crossroads, this is a very significant topic for all of us. We’re getting close to 2023. Elections and a census will both take place, that much is true.
“All these problems raise a lot of questions, but our Lord and Saviour has given us a guarantee. He won’t permit us to experience heartache. We ought to have faith in both Him and God.
In his sermon titled “Lay Down Your Fears,” Archbishop Daniel Okoh, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, stated that the populace feels more afraid than at any other time in the nation’s history because of the high level of insecurity and uncertainties within the country’s political economy.
However, he urged the populace to resist using language of despair and division in the run-up to the 2023 national elections.
Okoh advised Nigerians not to give up and avoid doing actions that might obstruct their country’s growth and advancement.
The CAN president stated, “Many Nigerians are uncertain of the outcome as they prepare for the national elections in 2023. If the elections do not go their way, there are worries that some people would turn to violence. In some locations, electoral materials have already been damaged by arsonists during this time period with the intention of hastening the 2023 polls.
Because of the uncertainty around how to participate in the upcoming elections, those who have been forced from their homes owing to insecurity, we are in a precarious situation.
“These scenarios are incredibly scary, but how should we react to these circumstances that we are in? Fear might cause mistakes that are beyond repair. Should we remain apprehensive? No, despite all of these difficulties, we shouldn’t be terrified.
Okoh noted that the Christmas tale speaks to the conditions in the nation, the people’s anxieties, and the future of the country, drawing his text from Matthew 1:20–21.
Let the Christmas narrative inspire us to speak the language of peace to our neighbors, regardless of their differing religious beliefs, he urged.
“We shouldn’t let fear prevent us from fighting injustice. Allow for an equitable distribution of resources and leadership roles among all nations, regions, and tribes. An equitable distribution of roles shouldn’t pose a threat to the existence of any ethnic or religious group; instead, it will enable us to fully utilize the vast potential of our beloved nation for the benefit of all.
We must resist indulging in violence and election rigging prior to, during, and following the 2023 elections. Politicians should conduct their electioneering and electoral processes ethically, believing that after all sincere efforts have been made, the final decision should be left to God.
“We shouldn’t succumb to the temptation of spreading false information to the uninformed public out of fear. To help Nigerians make informed voting decisions for the good of all, religious and political leaders, as well as the media, must communicate the facts about the problems.
“We shouldn’t permit our young people to leave the country in pursuit of better opportunities due to a fear of the unknown. We may return to having greener pastures here. It calls for dedication and reliability.
No one should steal from the government out of fear of being hungry. People use illegal means to amass wealth out of fear. It is important to note that those who observe corrupt behavior but remain silent about it do so out of either fear for their safety or fear of being revealed as complicit. Fear does not lead to advancement.
The cleric also counseled Nigerians to take advantage of the holiday season to fortify both themselves and others, offer comfort to the bereaved and harassed, and continue to speak up for the voiceless.