The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, the Most Reverend Callistus Onaga has called on Nigerian leaders to make prompt payment of workers’ salaries and entitlements their priority.
In a Christmas Message in Enugu, the Most Reverend Onaga advocated the provision of welfare package for workers during festive periods and donation of gifts to the poor to give them sense of belonging.
The Bishop condemned what he described as artificial scarcity of some commodities and increased their prices, especially petrol, under the pretext of Christmas preparation.
Bishop Onaga explained that the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ brought peace to the world and liberation to mankind.
He urged Christians to take advantage of the celebration to amend their ways and reconcile with God as well as their fellow human beings.
Also, Nigerians are called upon to shun all forms of social vices to ensure a peaceful celebration this festive season.
They are further advised to learn to tolerate and appreciate one another for the development of the country.
The Methodist Archbishop of Enugu Arch Diocese, the Most Reverend Christopher Edeh, gave the advice in his message to Nigerians to mark Christmas.
The Most Reverend Edeh, who described Christmas as a time for sober reflection, called on political office holders to fulfill all their campaign promises to the people.
He encouraged wealthy Nigerians to remember the needy, as they commemorate the birth of Christ, noting that Christmas ought to be a time for Christians to evaluate their Christianity.
In a related development, Christmas has been described as God’s gift of love to mankind.
The Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province, and Bishop of Enugu Diocese Anglican Communion, the Most Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma stated this in his Christmas message.
He said Christians should accept Christ in their life to be able to put smiles on the faces of the needy.
Archbishop Chukwuma warned Christians against being carried away by material things, pointing out that Christmas without Christ was crisis.
Similarly, the Moderator, Enugu Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria and Minister in charge of New Haven Parish, the Reverend Marvelous Okwara wants Nigerians to use the Christmas period to extend charity to the less privileged and physically challenged.
The Reverend Okwara explained that God had already shown mankind how to live by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to the world.
The clergyman advised Christians to reflect on the essence of Christmas and look up to God for solution to their problems, despite the economic challenges facing the country.
In another Christmas message, the General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria, the Reverend Chidi Okorafor has charged Nigerian leaders to sacrifice for the sake of their followers.
The Reverend Okorafor urged Christians to borrow a leaf from Jesus Christ who left the glories of Heaven and came to identify himself with man on earth for our well being.
He said that Christmas should not be a period to engage in immoral activities but a time for sober reflections.
Christmas day which is every December 25 is a memorable occasion all over the world that is accompanied by lots of preparations and ceremonies.
It is celebrated to mark the birth of Jesus Christ who is a gift to humanity.
As Christians commemorate Christmas today, how many Christians know the essence of the celebration?
Speaking on the essence of Christmas, the Chairman Trade Union Congress, Enugu State Chapter, Comrade Chukwuma Igbokwe condemned the wrong concept people have about Christmas.
Comrade Igbokwe while urging Christians not to be extravagant in their spending enjoined Christians to exhibit peaceful countenance.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Doctor Chuka Agu said Christians should see Christmas as an opportunity to affect lives positively.
A cross section of Christian faithful who told Radio Nigeria how they wished to celebrate the day also expressed the hope that the birth of Jesus Christ would address some of the challenges facing the country.
ADAOBI ANAH, EVELYN AWUNOR, ISRAEL ADEJUGBE, CHRISTIAN NWANGENE, CHINWE CHUKWU & VITALIS ECHEOZO