Nigerians welcome 2023 with prayers, fanfare

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With prayers, fireworks and loud cheers, Nigerians stepped into the New Year, saying farewell to an economically volatile 2022. After two previous New Year crossovers under the cloud of COVID-19 restrictions, Nigerians trooped out en masse to places of worship where they spent the first moments of 2023 with loved ones and fellow worshippers.

Hundreds of others who did not make it to worship centres gathered at recreational centres to usher in the New Year. Anticipation remains high for 2023 in the country with general elections scheduled to take place in February and March.

President Muhammadu Buhari shared in the anticipation, in his final presidential New Year message to Nigerians on Saturday. He called on the citizenry to forge greater camaraderie among one another in the coming year, promising on his part to fulfill his promise of a free and fair elections.

“As we welcome the New Year, let us look with hope to 2023, a year to move forward as a Nation towards unity, progress and prosperity. I offer my own personal felicitations, mindful of the various opinions and interpretations of our executive legacies,” he said.

“I welcome and accept both the accolades and criticisms in equal measure secure in the conviction that I did my best to serve our dear country Nigeria and I pray that the next President will also pick up the baton and continue the race to make Nigeria one of the leading countries of the world by the end of this century.”

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