Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has called on all residents of the state to eschew tribalism and show love toward one another as they celebrate Christmas.
Emmanuel made the call in Uyo in his 2020 Christmas message to Akwa Ibom people on Friday.
He noted that Christmas celebration was characterised by love and exchange of gifts, adding that it was a period of reconciliation.
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He noted that Jesus Christ preached love, peaceful co-existence and forgiveness.
“We pray that this celebration of love will not only bring mortal enemies as friends, but will also cause some of our people, who are still in the trenches of tribalism, petty-mindedness and other vices, to emerge from the foxholes and join us to build a state which would be defined by faith, love and brotherhood.
“Let us be reminded that Christmas is only Christmas when we celebrate it by sharing gifts with our neighbours and shining the light of love to everyone,” Emmanuel said.
The governor advised those fanning embers of disunity and causing tension to desist from such.
He urged Akwa Ibom people to be hopeful of a brighter future in spite of challenges.
“We pray that joy, peace and hope will fill the heart of every Akwa Ibomite as we savour the joyous commemoration of the birth of our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
“Let us remain hopeful and not be afraid because what the Lord has in store for this state in the next year and the years to come will gladden the hearts and minds of us all.
“Let love, hope and brotherhood continue to bind and shape our engagements,” he said.
The governor urged the youth to continue to be peaceful and shun anti-social tendencies, adding that the state still maintained zero tolerance for disruption of peace.
He reminded the residents that novel coronavirus pandemic was still ravaging the world, and appealed them to observe all COVID-19 prevention protocols as the best option to stay safe.
Emmanuel warned that government would be left with no option than to impose another lockdown on the state if the residents would not observe the protocols.
“Let us press forward by doing all we can to stay alive and beat the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
“As you may already know, we are currently experiencing the second wave of the pandemic.
“We succeeded in stemming the rate of infection when it first hit our shores; I ask you to join hands with us again to beat this second wave.
“The use of facemasks, social distancing, regular hand washing, use of hand sanitiser are protocols that have worked in reducing infections.
“Let us remain committed to applying these protocols,” he said.
Emmanuel praised President Muhammadu Buhari and other members of the Federal Executive Council for granting approval for the state to begin work on the Ibom Deep Seaport Project.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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