The National leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has on Monday urged Nigerians to look beyond their differences and “treat one another with kindness and decency.”
Tinubu said though there were “things upon which Nigerians can disagree and differ, but they must rise over these differences.”
The former governor of Lagos State gave this advice in his Christmas massage made available to newsmen on Monday.
He admonished that all Nigerians regardless of religion should work for the betterment of Nigeria’s “growing” political structure.
Tinubu said: “There will always be things upon which we will disagree and differ. Such is the way of life. But we must always transcend these inevitable differences to treat one another with fundamental kindness and decency.
“This is the real spirit of Christmas and this must be the spirit of the Nigeria we seek to build.
“May each and every Nigerian enjoy a Merry Christmas. May you share good tidings with family and friends on this day of peace and joy.
“As we gather in our homes to celebrate the day, let us take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the season. Jesus Christ came into the world not that we may use his birthday as an excuse for festivities. He came into this world to teach us how to show us the best aspects of our common humanity and to point the way to spiritual salvation.
“He is known as the prince of peace but he came into the world not cloaked in temporal power or visible wealth. He came dressed in humility and in compassion for those whom society has tossed aside. Let us remember these things as we eat and drink on this day. Let us, on this day, resolve to help our fellow man a bit more than we have in the past.
“It is easy to be good to family and friends. However, we must do better than this. We must strive to be kind and generous even when hard to do so. We must exercise tolerance regarding those who even oppose us and must douse hatred and conflict where we find it.
“As a Muslim, I understand that Jesus knew the road to our better existence and that his life was dedicated so that we may walk this path as well. Whether or not one is a practicing Christian or not, Jesus holds something value for us. His teachings are of a most ethical and humanitarian existence. To follow them will make of each of us a better person and to make of Nigeria a better nation.
“We are a young and growing nation. We are still shaping our national identity and political culture. It would be easy for us to descend into the way of endless squabbling and mindless conflict, to seek power solely for the sake of holding power. But this is not how we build our nation. We must strive to serve the greater purpose. Whether Christian or Muslim, we must recognize each other as part of the same human family and must act as brothers not antagonists.
“There will always be things upon which we will disagree and differ. Such is the way of life. But we must always transcend these inevitable differences to treat one another with fundamental kindness and decency. This is the real spirit of Christmas and this must be the spirit of the Nigeria we seek to build.
“We extend to all Nigerians of all stripes our wishes for a peaceful and happy Christmas. May we join hands and make of this Nigeria a better land for all. May God continue to bless you and this home we call Nigeria”.