Fireworks go off in celebration of the new year 2022. AFP

 

Nigeria has joined the rest of the world in ushering in 2022 after another tumultuous and pandemic-ridden year capped by soaring case numbers, insecurity, economic challenges, and a slight glimmer of hope for better times ahead.

While Nigerians are still enjoying the festive and holiday season, many are optimistic that the coming year would provide a softer landing than 2021.

The Christian Association of Nigeria had earlier called on citizens to pray for God’s mercy in 2022.

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In a New Year message signed on Friday by CAN President Samson Ayokunle, the group said Nigerians irrespective of their religious affiliations should “cry for the mercy of God” that can preserve the nation and bring an end to all insecurity.

Also wishing Nigerian a happy new year, President Muhammadu Buhari urged citizens to envision a year of continued progress against the nation’s combined challenges arising from security and socio-economic issues.

“The path to nationhood is often fraught with unpredictable difficulties and challenges, and most tried and tested nations have often prevailed through dogged determination, resilience, concerted commitment to unity, and the conviction that the whole of the nation, standing together against all odds, is by far greater and would ultimately be more prosperous and viable than the sum of its distinguishable parts,” he added.

The President also called on the people, irrespective of their religious and political affiliation, to come together in the fight to keep the country united against all odds.

He admitted that the persistent insecurity in parts of the country may have threatened the overall objective of his administration to position the nation on the irreversible trajectory of sustainable growth and progress.

President Buhari, however, assured that the government would remain resolute in its commitments and would continue to press ahead with its programmes and plans.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had last week declared January 3, 2022, as a public holiday in celebration of the New Year.

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