The federal government has declared Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th December 2021 and Monday, 3rd January 2022 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year Day celebrations respectively.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the federal government in a statement by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, on Wednesday morning.
He felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Aregbesola enjoined Christians to practice the doctrines of Christ, which include but are not limited to faith, hope and love.
“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.
“This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth,” he noted.
He emphasized that peace and security were two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity.
He urged Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of insecurity bedevilling the country.
Aregbesola also charged Nigerians not to be lulled into a false sense of security on the COVID-19 pandemic but to note that it is increasingly assuming a very dangerous and harmful dimension with the emergence of a virulent variant, Omicron.
“This calls for deliberate responsibility and discipline on the part of all,” the Minister stressed.
The Minister enjoined all to adhere strictly to and observe all the stipulated non-pharmaceutical 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.
Also, he urged quick report to medical authorities of any respiratory illness observed in self and others before, during and after the Yuletide.
Speaking further, the Minister said this Yuletide calls for spartan discipline in order to prevent the spread of the virus in communities and the nation as a whole.
“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 enjoined.