The Federal Government has declared Monday, Tuesday and Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year Day celebration.
This is contained in a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.
Aregbesola enjoined Christians to practice the doctrines of Christ, which include but 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, however, emphasised that peace and security were two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity.
The minister, therefore, urged Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of the festive period to pray for the total eradication of insecurity bedevilling the country.
Aregbesola urged Nigerians not to be lulled into a false sense of security on COVID-19 pandemic but to note that it was increasingly assuming a very dangerous and harmful dimension with the emergence of Omicron variant.
“This calls for deliberate responsibility and discipline on the part of all,” the minister stressed.
He also enjoined all to adhere strictly to and observe all the stipulated non-pharmaceutical protocols and guidelines such as wearing of facemasks.
As well as frequent washing of hands with soap and water, using of hand sanitiser and avoidance of large groups.
Aregbesola urged quick report to medical authorities of any respiratory illness observed in self and others before, during and after the Yuletide.
The minister noted that the celebration called for spartan discipline to prevent the spread of the virus in our communities and the country at large
“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 also assured that the Federal Government had put in place effective measures for the security of lives and property.
He also expected Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing useful information that would assist them in the performance of their duties.
Aregbesola, however, admonished all citizens to remain focused and expressed confidence that the year 2022 would be a better year for everyone.
He wished all Christians in particular a happy Christmas and all Nigerians a peaceful and prosperous New Year celebration.