I am highly honoured by your presence to celebrate the season of the birth of Christ with you, the good people of Ondo State.  No doubt, we have all enjoyed the lessons and various carols renditions by the different choir groups and the invited Ministers of God.  I believe we all have been spiritually lifted, enriched and edified, from this programme, as part of the Body of Christ.

Christmas celebration, as we all know, is the global festival dedicated to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.  We must, therefore, reflect on the major essence and reason for the birth of Jesus Christ, which is our redemption from judgment to salvation, healing and happiness. We must embrace and promote humanity, common good, love, peace, care and concern for one another, and most importantly, the pathway to the salvation of others.  The celebration of the season would only be worthwhile if we embrace the virtues of Jesus Christ.

I am proud to boldly point out that Ondo State is uniquely blessed with religious leaders of various faiths who are mature and tolerant of other adherents.  I believe religion should rather be observed and exploited for development rather than a tool for division, disharmony and destruction of lives and property.  I wish to advise that this virtue and legacy of peace, unity and oneness that is being enjoyed through the instrumentality of religion in the State and Yorubaland at large, should be maintained and sustained, so that our brothers from other parts of Nigeria could understudy and embrace this character trait of the Yoruba towards nation building.

However, we must not lose sight of the fact that there are threats everywhere. My appeal to our religious leaders is that security consciousness must be given priority, especially at worship places so as to nip in the bud any threat of attack from any quarters. 

As you may be aware, since my assumption of office as Governor, we have consciously and steadily embarked on repositioning this State in every sector of the economy and facet of development.  I believe that Government and development should be about the people and that whatever we set out to do should benefit the good people of Ondo State. Ladies and Gentlemen, as we go into the dry season, the opening up of our rural roads to facilitate easy evacuation of agricultural produce from the farms are being given priority.  Our efforts at the industrialization of the State is already yielding fruits. By the time all our efforts crystalize, Ondo State will be better for it.

Appreciatively, I find it necessary and important at this auspicious moment to thank you, the body of Christ for your support for our administration since the 24th February, 2017, when I assumed office as Governor.  Your prayers for me, my family, our Government and the entire State have not only been noticed, but have had great impact on us.  Particularly, your ceaseless spiritual interventions have guided us on the right path in the governance of this State.

Please, I enjoin you to continue with your prayers for our administration, so as to responsibly exercise the mandate given to us by the good people of Ondo State.  On our part, we pledge not to play politics with the destiny of this State, as we are always prepared for purposeful and selfless leadership.

In conclusion, let me advise all of us that we should all celebrate the season responsibly, devoid of social vices and to rededicate ourselves to the virtues and principles of Christ, so that we will be found worthy at the end.

Once again, I thank you for coming.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance.  

May God bless you all.

A speech by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State. Read more speeches

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