Thursday, December 29, 2011

How 9,999 singers brought Uyo alive at Christmas

Cross Section of participants at the Carol Service
It was a fun-filled atmosphere at this year’s carol night organised by the Akwa Ibom State government as 9,999 singers took to the stage to thrill the audience which had thronged the Uyo Township Stadium to have a feel of the Christmas festivities.

Present at the event, were foreign and Nigerian artistes including Gospel Singer, Ron Kenoly, Aity Denis Inyang and the founder of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, William F. Kumuyi, among others.

While it could arguably be regarded as a night to remember, the large number of people who turned out for the event showed its acceptability and the yearning for such events to create an atmosphere for relaxation and fun.

Thought it was held in the evening and lasted long into the night, its timing did not present any hurdle, thanks also to the gradual return of night life to the town, aided by huge investment by the state government in expanding basic social infrastructure such as roads and drainages.

According to the residents who thronged the Uyo Township Stadium, venue of the event, apart from the number of the singers who participated in the carol night, standing at 9,999, it gave a sense that night life has fully resumed in earnest. This was greatly boosted by street lights in all major streets, making the town to compete with other major towns in the country.

The Christmas carol night with the decorative lights in selected locations within the city provided residents with an evening that was filled with fun and relaxation, particularly as it had the blessing of providence, as seen in the presence of key ministers of the gospel.

At the event, Governor Godswill Akpabio noted that it was designed to give the people the opportunity to come together for the common purpose of showing their love for one another, urging Nigerians to demonstrate love and kindness in their relationship with others.

Akpabio, who was accompanied by his wife, Unoma, however, regretted that despite the blessings bestowed on the country in many areas, Nigerians have chosen to act differently.

“They see the blessing of God but they deny the power of His mercy. They are like the man with a mud rake in Pilgrims’ Progress by John Milton who would not bother to look up and spent his time looking down and raking mud.

They are those the Bible says their minds have been seared with a hot iron and they have become impervious to the refreshing breath of truth. But such should open their hearts today,’’ the governor urged.

According to him, “Such persons should not be subjected to criticism. Let us try to put Christmas in their hearts. Just as it is the duty of those who have physical sight to lead those who are physically blind, so is the duty of those who can see with their minds to lead those who are blind in their minds.

“Let us open their hearts to God’s love and break down the cocoon the devil has placed in their hearts with love. Let us in this season of love shine the torch of compassion into their lives and eliminate their souls.’’

He thanked Kumuyi, the general overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, for accepting to attend the event and also extended his appreciation to Ron Kenolly, American gospel singer, the Abuja Metropolitan Choir and 9,999 choristers for featuring in the carol night.

Earlier, the Director of Protocols to the governor, Aniekpeno Mkpanang, had said the event was organised to celebrate the birth of Jesus, noting that the number of singers was significant in that it was meant to surpass previous records of singers at any carol night.

Source: BusinessDay

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