The Federal Government has declared Dec. 26 and 27, 2022 as public holidays to mark Christmas and Boxing Day.
It also declared Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, as holiday to mark the New Year. The announcement was made by Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, on Thursday in Abuja.
The minister felicitated Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the diaspora on the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Aregbesola enjoined Christians to emulate virtues of Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings, especially on faith, hope and love.
“We must imbibe the life of Jesus Christ in his practice and teachings on humility, service, compassion, patience, peace and righteousness that his birth signifies.
“This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth”, he said.
The minister emphasized that peace and security were critical conditions for economic development and prosperity.
He therefore urged Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of the festive period to pray for the total eradication of any vestige of insecurity in the country.
Aregbesola reminded Nigerians that 2023, was an election and political transition year, as such they should make it a huge success by voting peacefully and avoiding anything capable of undermining the exercise.
He assured that the Federal Government has put in place effective measures for the security of lives and property.
The minister, however, said getting the desired peace requires all Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing timely and useful information that would assist them to discharge their duties effectively.
He urged Nigerians to be security conscious at all times and report any suspicious persons or activities to nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS.
“When you see something, do N-Alert, as this would elicit prompt response from security agents,” he added.
The celebration calls for spartan discipline to protect lives and properties of everyone in our community and the nation as a whole, he said.
The minister advised Nigerians to celebrate moderately, act responsibly and refrain from spreading fake news on the country, the government and people around them.
Aregbesola admonished all citizens to remain focused, assuring that the 2023 would be a better year for everyone.
He wished Nigerians happy Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.