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In the spirit of the felicitous time of year, the Federal Government has declared Monday, December 27, Tuesday, December 28, and Monday, January 3, 2022, as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day, and the New Year’s Day celebrations, respectively.

This public holiday announcement was made by the Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday on behalf of the Federal Government. During the declaration of public holidays, Mr. Aregbesola commemorated the special occasion of Christmas and congratulated all the Christian community and the Nigerians on the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Thus, he reminded the community to practice the doctrine of Jesus Christ and implement his teachings in everyday life to remain on the right path. As he genuinely believes that the teachings of Jesus instill love, hope, and faith in all his followers.

“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. He noted. “This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth,” he added further.

However, the breaking of news was not a standalone topic. Mr. Aregbesola reminded the citizens of Nigeria to celebrate the events ensuring their safety and of their loved ones. As the newly detected SARS-CoV-2 variants, Omicron is on the rise. He warned the citizens not to be lulled into a false hope that the dangers of Covid-19 have diminished.

“This calls for deliberate responsibility and discipline on the part of all,” he added. The country’s situation is alarming as there is a threat of Omicron lurking in the background. If God forbid, the emergence of virulent variant, Omicron is not kept under control, the country might face another health crisis which could bring devastating results on the economy.

He pointed out that peace and security are the two significant factors that contribute to national development, economic stability, and prosperity in the country. Therefore, all these events should be celebrated with utmost caution while maintaining the safety protocol. He also urged the Christians and the Nigerians to pray for the eradication of poverty and insecurity prevailing in the country.

All the while, he also asked the citizens to adhere to the protocols stipulated by the government, which include but are not limited to wearing of facial mask, washing hands with soap and water frequently, using hand sanitizers, avoiding large gatherings, and keeping at least 1m physical distance.

In case of any health emergency or observing any respiratory illness, he urged the individuals to immediately report to the medical authorities. This not only ensures the person’s safety but of those around him.

Mr. Aregbesola also requested to celebrate on a small level, “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.” Although he assured that the government had taken the measures to tackle the health crisis at hand, he urged the individuals to support the government and follow the mentioned protocols.

At last, Mr. Aregbesola emphasized national and health security. He asked the citizens to remain focused in their everyday dealings and celebrate the festivals with care and precautions. At the end of the announcement, he prayed and hoped that 2022 would bring peace, security, and prosperity for all.

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