*Pastor Adeboye speaks on total breakthrough, Oritsejafor on stability
By our reporters
Governors across the country say measures are being put in place to ameliorate the pains of economic recession.
Separately, clerics, including Pastor E.A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and the immediate past President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, assured that all will be well in the new year.
The govs and clerics spoke in their new year messages.
“In the coming year, I recommit myself to deploying government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment”, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said in his message.
“In actualizing this, I passionately urge the people of Enugu State to continue to offer special prayers for the progress of the state and the success of the present administration towards the advancement of good governance”.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode thanked Lagosians for the massive support given to his administration in 2016, assuring that he would work assiduously to ensure that Lagos State is taken to the next pedestal in 2017, especially in the area of physical and social infrastructural development.
In his new year message released by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, Amode said the state government had earmarked several developmental projects for 2017. According to him, he remained totally committed to his promise to deliver a vibrant, non-discriminatory, clean, prosperous and safer Lagos.
He said while the state witnessed significant improvements in its performance indices due to the massive investment on its tripod of security, infrastructure and job opportunities in 2016, more emphasis will be placed on sustaining the growth in 2017 through people-oriented programmes and policies which cut across education, health, agriculture, housing, tourism, environment, among others.
“In 2017, we shall carry out fundamental reforms on all our modes of transportation – Roads, water and the walkways. In this wise, an integrated transport management system is a priority”, the governor said.
“The state government will embark on the urbanisation of the Marina axis, waterways channelization, establishment of more parks and gardens as well as the community sports centres and stadiums in different locations across the state”.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State identified the need for more perseverance and determination from the populace to ensure the unity of the nation in the face of the current economic and security challenges threatening her unity.
He implored all to be resolute in ensuring the nation remains an indivisible one in the face of the numerous challenges that have come to test the will of her people to remain united.
Mimiko, who spoke through the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, in his new year message, said the country’s multi-ethnic composition should be the source of strength and unity, as no component part of this configuration is easily dispensable, even as he advised members of the political class to play the game, strictly according to its rules.
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State urged Nigerians to hope for a better country in 2017.
Fayose also charged leaders in the country to be fair and equitable in the way they treat Nigerians and the different sections of the country.
In his new year message, he re-assured the people of the state of the determination of his administration to provide more dividends of democracy for them.
“Within available resources, we can boldly say that we have tried our best in the provision of projects and services for our people. We have also touched every part of the state and we are not relenting. Despite the financial challenges we are facing, our administration is assuring the people of more quality leadership. We are undaunted”, he said.
“Our hope in God for a better tomorrow for the people of Ekiti State is not shaken and we are assuring the people of the state that we are on course. More developmental projects will still be executed in the state this year and ongoing ones due for delivery this year, would be delivered as scheduled”.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State assured Deltans of enhanced service delivery in 2017.
Okowa, in his message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said his administration was determined to increase the tempo of service delivery and infrastructural development in the new year.
The governor said: “With a deep sense of profound gratitude to God almighty, I welcome you all to a brand new year 2017. I join you all in giving profuse thanks to God almighty for His guidance and protection all through the preceding year, 2016.
“I appreciate immensely the unalloyed, support and cooperation that our administration has enjoyed from Deltans, which has been our source of strength and courage. I salute our collective resolve to continue to live together in peace despite the economic challenges that the Nigeria nation is presently faced with”.
Governor Willie Obiano expressed optimism that Ndi Anambra and their fellow Nigerians shall sing a song of joy and victory in the new year.
In a message on his behalf by James Eze, his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Obiano reasoned that having survived the trauma and anxieties of 2016, Ndi Anambra and their fellow compatriots would have crossed over to a new threshold of prosperity and growth.
“Ndi Anambra, we have come a long way as a people. But we didn’t get this far by crumbling under the weight of adversities. No. We got to where we are by subduing seemingly impossible challenges and carving a pathway to our own happiness. So, we shall know greater happiness and live our dreams this year,” he declared.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, urged Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of the nation’s economy in the new year.
He also called on the Federal Government to put the right policies in place to boost investors’ confidence and spend on infrastructure and critical sectors to reboot the nation’s economy.
Ekweremadu, in his new year message to Nigerians, expressed sadness over the current economic hardship faced by Nigerians, noting that the nation’s leadership needed divine guidance to take the right economic policies and steps.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, told Nigerians not to despair in the face of economic recession and hardship, saying the new year will bring relief.
The Speaker, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, asked Nigerians to be resilient in the face of the current hardship in the country, saying 2017 will bring succour.
He assured that the results of the policies of government will begin to manifest in the new year leading to an improved quality of life for the citizens.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Yussuff Lasun, in a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Wole Oladimeji, enjoined Nigerians to remain committed and hopeful in the ruling APC.
He said, “As we go into the new year, the Deputy Speaker appeals to Nigerians to support President Mohammodu Buhari in fixing the economy of the country”.
Adeboye, in his message, tasked Christians to buy into the mandate of soul winning for them to have access to God’s unwavering blessings and total breakthrough in the new year.
Speaking at Magodo, Shangisha, the RCCG General Overseer explained that God listens attentively to the prayers of soul winners which is why God is pleased him because he does not joke with soul-winning.
“If you need a total breakthrough in the new year, preach the Gospel. I know God is pleased with anyone preaching the Gospel. Jesus is happy with me and would answer my prayers for you. You too can decide to preach the gospel to win souls. There is always joy in heaven among the holy angels when a soul is converted. You too can shake heaven and have all your prayers answered as Jesus would always be happy with you when you dedicate your life to winning souls”, he stated.
The wife of Pastor-in-Charge of RCCG Region 1, Pastor Rachael Odesola, in her contribution, urged the Federal Government to be committed to diversifying the economy by investing in agriculture and other areas, adding that if the nation’s citizens feed well, a lot of problems will be solved.
She added that the Federal Government should key into the wisdom and programme of the Benue State government that embarked on agriculture.
Oritsejafor, who is also the Presiding Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, urged Nigerians to endeavour to abide by the teachings of Jesus Christ, who he described as the ultimate and dependable rock.
“Jesus, if you study your bible, is called the Rock. Not a rock but The Rock. That means stability. My message to the nation for 2017 is that Jesus is the stability of humanity. If we can rest on Him and rest in Him, which also means trust in Him, believe me, one way or the other, He knows how to do what must be done to make this nation a great nation. We must keep hope alive. Nigerians must never lose faith in God. Sometimes man can fail you but I promise you, God will never fail you. He is stable, He is steady, and He is constant. So my message is let us depend on the Rock. He will make a way in 2017”, he said.
Presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, expressed optimism about a possible turnaround of fortunes for Nigeria, calling on every Nigerian not to lose hope in spite of the daunting socio-economic challenges facing us as a nation. “Rather than lose hope, I urge every Nigerian to stand in prayers for this nation, because I am a firm believer that prayers can change situations and circumstances, no matter how complex they may look”, Okonkwo said.
“There is no doubt we have all gone through some very trying times in 2016 especially with regards to our economy, but the grace of God has kept us intact as a nation. I also salute the dogged resilience of Nigerians who are always ready to weather every storm that comes their way. We cannot afford to throw up our hands in despair, so I encourage every Nigerian to continue to contribute his or her quota to the peace, prosperity and development of this great nation”.
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, in his message, congratulated the military on its conquest of Sambisa forest believed to be the last stronghold of Boko Haram.
According to Martins, the capture of Sambisa during the yuletide, marks a major breakthrough in the army’s battle to rid the country of terrorism, even as he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment and steadfastness in fighting the Boko Haram terror since he assumed the leadership of the nation.
In his message made public through the Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Gabriel Osu, Martins, however expressed concern over the blood-letting that is being witnessed in Southern Kaduna and the atrocities being committed by the so-called Fulani herdsmen, warning that unless the perpetrators of the violence and their sponsors are urgently brought to book, the crisis may escalate beyond current proportion.
In his own message, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerie Okeke, said it is neither by power nor by might but by God’s love and mercy that we are crossing into a new year. With a grateful heart, the archbishop glorified God for His mercies this year and encourages every Nigerian to face the new year with hope and confidence.
While wishing Nigerian a happy new year, he prayed that the dawn of 2017 shall bring forth abundance of God’s favours, progress & blessings in our lives and families.
Anglican Archbishop of Lagos, Ephraim Ademowo, in his message, acknowledged that 2016 had been turbulent in diverse areas, noting: God is always on our side and there is light at the end of tunnel if we all rise to do what is right and proper as a people and as a nation.