Christmas speech by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), delivered on December 24, 2022.
My heart rejoices with our Christian brothers and sisters at Christmas this year.
Many of us look forward to this festive season as a time to travel, share gifts, spend quality time with family and friends, attend carols and special events, and generally relive the good times of the year.
No matter what situation we find ourselves in, Christmas is a time when we come together to celebrate and put aside our differences.
For me and my family, this year’s celebration is special. It’s my last as your president-elect. Twenty-two weeks from now, this administration will hand over to another.
For the past seven years, I have had the privilege of receiving members of the Federal Capital Territory community at Christmas, except for one year when the COVID-19 pandemic denied us that opportunity. I will fondly remember them as my kind owners and friendly neighbors.
It is crucial that I remember this about my neighbors, because there is no better way for us to celebrate Christmas as a people than to show genuine love, care, compassion and empathy for one another.
We must never lose sight of the symbiotic relationship between Christmas and hope; Jesus Christ and humility, and Christianity and grace.
In this season of love, joy and peace, let’s not forget those who really want to celebrate but are somehow forced to come closer to them.
Together we can make this celebration spectacular by renewing our commitment and common resolve to work for the unity and prosperity of our beloved nation.
Until my last day, I will continue to provide political and material support to sub-national governments, Armed Forces, organizations and individuals who are working tirelessly for the peace, unity, stability and progress of Nigeria.
The progress we have made so far in the economic field, especially in infrastructure; food security, anti-corruption, security and energy sufficiency, among others, will have to be built.
This joyous season has coincided with the campaign period to usher in a new administration. I urge you to be cautious and vote for those who will maintain the momentum we have created for the good of the country.
Another opportunity is to show the world that Nigeria is indeed ready to strengthen its democratic credentials, as has been expressed in international circles. May the peace and joy that surrounds you during this period continue through the new year to the February election and beyond.
I want to assure Nigerians that those who want to violently disrupt the peace of our nation have lost the battle.
Our country has many human and material resources.
Let us celebrate our blessings this season with the confidence that a better dawn awaits Nigeria.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
December 24, 2022.