Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, on Monday urged Nigerians to seize the symbolic occasion of Christmas to extend acts of love and kindness to mankind, especially the less privileged in the society.

Ambode, in his Christmas message, said the qualities of Jesus Christ, which included love, care, selflessness and compassion for persons, especially the weak, vulnerable and less-privileged were the real essence of the season.

He said his message to everyone at this period was to put a smile on the faces of persons who could not afford to return the favour.

He said: “Christmas is a season that explains the depth of God’s love for mankind and exemplary sacrifice that we should emulate in our relationship with our neighbours irrespective of status and creed.

“This season is another opportunity to increase our acts of kindness and touch the less privileged in our society.

“Therefore, this Christmas means so much more than just mere merriment; it is a veritable avenue to extend love to the less-privileged who are disadvantaged in several ways.

“In this special season therefore, I urge you all to spread love and be our brother’s keeper.

“Let us reach out to those who struggle to provide for their families, let us put smiles on the faces of the weak and vulnerable; this is the real essence of Christmas.”

Ambode, while commending residents for the peaceful atmosphere in the state over the years, urged them to emulate Jesus Christ and continue to pray for continued peace in the state.

“We shall continue to pray for continued peace in Lagos; we shall continue to pray for increased prosperity of our people.

“We shall not relent in our prayers for Lagos to continue in its path of growth and we shall look forward to more of your prayers, now, in the New Year and beyond.

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“Our government appreciates the spirit of tolerance and cooperation which has provided the enabling environment for growth and development in Lagos State.

“We reiterate our commitment to continue to promote healthy community relations with economic opportunities and empowerment prospects for all,” he said.

Ambode, also urged residents to continue to pray for sustained peace and progress in the state, especially as Nigerians prepare for the 2019 general elections.