*Choral groups from geopolitical zones, gospel artists across Nigeria render songs at spectacular 2022 presidential concert
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, last night hosted the 2022 annual Christmas Concert at the Presidential Villa with sonorous voices, thrilling instrumentals and inspiring ministrations all coming together in celebration of the festive season at the Carol event themed: Messiah.
Besides the Vice President and his wife, Her Excellency Dolapo Osinbajo, other dignitaries at the event were the former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd); Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju; Secretary to the Government of the Federaton, Mr Boss Mustapha and his wife; Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, who represented the President of the Senate; Ministers of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen; Science and Technology, Sen. Adeleke Mamora; Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr Emmanuel Akabe; Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Revd. Ignaitus Kaigama who said the opening prayer; the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, represented by the Methodist Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Revd. Michael Akinwale, who led the closing prayer, and former Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan.
Others dignitaries included heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies; and members of the Diplomatic Corp. There were also traditional rulers including His Royal Highness, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass; His Majesty, King (Dr.) Dandeson Douglas Jaja, the Jaja of Opobo among others.
In his message titled “The Messiah and the Encounter that Transforms Lives”, the Primate of the Anglican Communion, Nigeria, the Most Revd. Henry Ndukuba noted that Jesus Christ who is the centre of history renews mankind’s hope and faith in eternal life.
According to him, “encountering the Messiah restores man’s purpose in life, gives peace and brings reconciliation with God in order for man to experience truth and the living God.”
He urged Nigerians to be mindful of the celebration of Christmas, avoiding the attempt to commercialise the celebration across the world.
“In Nigeria, as we search for political leadership in 2023, someone said that Nigeria does not need a Messiah in the 2023 general elections, but our Carol lessons draws us to an encounter with Jesus Christ and the only one who can transform the life of the individual, our community and our nation.
“As we encounter him in this Christmas time, my prayer is that we shall exclaim, it is the Messiah! As we encounter him afresh, he shall restore all that we have lost as individuals and a nation, and he shall realign us to the will of God.”
The concert featured gospel artists and choral groups from Abuja FCT, Kano, Niger, Imo, Rivers, Osun and Taraba States, rendering traditional Christmas songs and specially composed numbers to mark the ocassion. The choral groups also included the Aso Villa Chapel Choir, Eagles Music Academy, The Symphonies and the Lord’s Trumpeters, all from Abuja.
The other groups included The Potter’s House Choir from Kano, the Magnificent Chorale from Jalingo, the Vocal Care Choir, Osogbo, the Imo City Chorale, Owerri, the Minna Chorale Society from Niger, and the Port Harcourt Male Ensemble from Rivers State.
Gospel artists at the event included Nathaniel Bassey, Dunsin Oyekan, Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun, Ife Odoginyan and Mustapha Yusuf.
There were also scripture readings by Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha who took the first lesson from John 4:24-27; while Barrister Mary Omoyeme Musa, PWD, took the second bible reading from Luke 1: 3-26, King (Dr.) Dandeson Douglas Jaja, the Jaja of Opobo read the third scripture from the book of Matthew 1:18-25, and Supreme CourtJustice Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju took the fourth Scripture reading from Luke 2: 6-16.
At the annual concert, special prayers for Nigeria and its leaders were raised, led by the Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Pastor Seyi Malomo. The Christmas Concert at the Presidential Villa is an annual event hosted during the festive season by either a sitting President or the Vice President.