Abuja – Christian faithful in Nigeria joined their counterpart worldwide to celebrate the passion and death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday.
Good Friday marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
In Lagos, some clergy in their messages urged the leaders at all levels of government to imbibe the spirit of selflessness as demonstrated by Jesus Christ.
They said Good Friday was a day of deep penitence for Christians to reflect on the life and death of Christ who paid the supreme price for human redemption.
Most Rev. Adebola Ademowo, Bishop Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), said that good leadership would be best demonstrated by selfless and sacrificial living.
Ademowo urged leaders at all levels of government to reflect on the lessons of humility and selflessness from the life of Christ.
The cleric called on delegates at the ongoing national conference and the entire participant to use the opportunity to seek the common good instead of individual interest and comfort.
“They should be sacrificial in their services to our great country.
“We should begin to equip ourselves with the right education, orientation and skills that will make us competitive and capable to take the reins of power and lead Nigerians,” he said.
Ademowo also called on Nigerians to shun mediocrity and imbibe the culture of excellence.
He said with the supreme price of Jesus, there was no sacrifice one could make to secure the future and the growth of generations unborn that would be reckoned with time.
“Let us determine in our hearts to promote the ideals of development and transformation and have faith in God to move the country forward.
He predicted the emergence of a beautiful plan of God for Nigeria, and urged citizens to humble themselves and think positively.
Also, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, urged Christians to embrace peace in all aspects of their lives.
Osu enjoined Christians to praying for the repose of the souls of Nigerians who lost their lives in bomb blasts, kidnapping and ritual murders across the country.
He urged all Christians to use the Easter celebration as a time for promoting peace and understanding among themselves and also to pray for Nigeria.
On the significance of the season, he explained that “On Good Friday, we re-enact the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
“It is a day when we are expected to fix our eyes on the Cross at Calvary. On this day, no Mass is said in the strict sense of the word.
“Rather, we undertake a special the service called the Mass of the Pre-sanctified because Communion which had already been consecrated on Holy Thursday is given to the people,” he added.
In Nsukka, Enugu State, the Overseer of Christ Victory Church, Pastor Edwin Urama, said what Nigerians needed to restore peace and unity was to rededicate themselves to God in prayer.
“The insurgency facing the country is the handiwork of the devil to tear the country apart.
“We must seek God’s intervention so as to end the present senseless killings and destruction of property by Boko Haram.
“With prayer and absolute trust in God, the present insurgency will be a thing of the past,’’ Urama said.
He urged Nigerians to celebrate Easter by loving and forgiving one another as Jesus Christ did for us.
“For us to be good Christians we should forgive and pray for those who persecute us,’’ he said
In Ibadan, Pastor Isaac Bamisaye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Blessed Parish Agbokojo, Ibadan, said the situation in Nigeria could only be solved by prayer and God.
“We need to humble ourselves and cry to God because only prayer and God’s intervention will bring serenity in Nigeria,” Bamisaye said.
He said that Easter should be celebrated by showing love to one another because Jesus died and resurrected for the salvation of the whole world.
The cleric also urged Nigerians to stop complaining, but pray for their leaders for God to lead them aright.
“I believe when all of us do what we should do and call on God, He will hear us and heal our land.’’
In Bauchi, Rev. Shuiabu Byal, Chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), North-East zone, advised Christians to pray for peaceful coexistence at all times.
Byal, a Senior Lecturer at ECWA Theological Centre, Bayara, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Friday.
The lecturer, who is also the state Chairman, Christians Pilgrims Welfare Board, said the mission of Jesus on earth personify peaceful coexistence.
“He was not a violence person, he lived a life that he never fought a group of people at all, all what he said was that people should draw closer to God and God will draw near to them.’’
He said that Christians should continue to pray and to live moral life to please God and to please humanity.
In Minna, Rev. Musa Dada, CAN Chairman, advised Christians to embrace the virtues of peace, love, and forgiveness, which underscored Christ’s earthly mission.
Dada, who made the call in his Easter message, stressed the need for Christians to live harmoniously with non-Christians’ in a bid to move the nation forward.
“We must reach out to one another, including non-Christians in love, peace and show forgiveness just as Christ did even on the cross.
“We must imbibe these virtues to forge ahead as a nation.
“Our Easter celebration will not be complete without taking stock of our lives and conducting ourselves in a manner glorifying to God.”
Also, the Parish Priest of Church of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Zaramaganda, Jos, Rev. Fr. Dennis Kaye, charged Christians to be peaceful, forgive one another and be security conscious.
Kaye gave the charge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after the Stations of the Cross to commemorate the passions and death of Christ on Good Friday.
“Good Friday is the day that the saviour gave His life for our own salvation after passing through all kinds of torture.
“We are supposed to sit back and reflect on this great act of salvation that God has won for us.
“And the next thing is to challenge ourselves on how best we are to behave and act according to the His way of life to portray that we are appreciative of what God has done for our salvation,’’ he said.
He called on Christians and, indeed, Nigerians to forgive those who are killing innocent persons and pray for them to have a change of heart.
“All that we need to do is to commit these people into prayer, those who are perpetuating these very terrible acts by taking the lives of people.
“We pray for them so that Jesus who died on the cross for us will change their evil intentions for better things for the growth of Nigeria,’’ he urged.
Kaye, however, call on Christians to be on alert and be security conscious, pointing out that such might save a life or lives of persons.