Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Supo Ayokunle, have called on Nigerians to embrace peaceful co-existence and attitudinal change for the development of the country.
They made the call during the 2017 Christmas Carol/Thanksgiving Service held at Agodi Gardens in Ibadan on Sunday night.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, organised by Oyo State Government, is an annual programme to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, said the Christmas period must be used to reflect changes as exemplified by Jesus Christ.
“We need to change our mindset in 2018. We must embrace peace, love, godliness and be our brothers’ keeper.
“It is when we embrace all these virtues that we are sure of peace, divine favour and a better society that we all desire,” he said.
The governor stated that his administration would continue its developmental policy of providing security and infrastructure for the benefit of all residents.
According to him: “this state, before we assumed office, was known to be a garrison where brigandage reigned. When we came on board we have been able to return the state to a safe haven.
“The unprecedented achievements of our administration are not devoid of hard work and divine grace.”
Similarly, Ayokunle urged the people to remain peaceful and godly, adding that the season was for all to reconcile, love and embrace peaceful co-existence.
“The essence of Christmas is to reconcile all quarrels, show love and embrace peace as exemplified by Jesus Christ.
“We must all tolerate ourselves and live in peace irrespective of our communities, ethnic groups, the language we speak and religion,” he said.
NAN reports that the first, second and third lessons of the event were read by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Micheal Adeyemo, the deputy governor and wife of the governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi respectively.
Special prayers for the widows, church, first family, state and Nigeria were handled by Rev. Julius Ayotunde, Archbishop Abegunrin, Pastor Olubi Johnson and Prophet Samuel Abiara.
The event featured praise and worship, special performances and ended with candle lighting.
Among those present were Mrs Kemi Alao-Akala, wife of the former Oyo State Governor, wife of the deputy governor, Janet, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun and Archbishop-Emeritus Alaba Job.
Others are Apostle Sunday Popoola, Pastor Femi Emmanuel, Chief Akin Oke, the APC Chairman in Oyo State, members of the state executive council and the state traditional rulers.