Emmanuel introduces Award of Excellence as 2022 Akwa Ibom Christmas Festival holds
As the final edition of the Akwa Ibom Christmas Carol Festival under the watch of the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, held at Ibom Hall Grounds Uyo, the governor instituted the Emmanuel Award for Excellence in Gospel Music Ministry.
The festival had the theme: “Go Forward,” taken from Exodus 14:15. The governor explained that the award, initiated to encourage creativity among international and local gospel artistes in Nigeria, would be presented yearly to gospel music artistes, who distinguished themselves in expressive talents within a preceding year.
“In demonstrating our resolve in creating a global brand that will be reckoned with across gospel music community in Nigeria and to encourage and reward these creative ministers to do more in winning souls for the Kingdom of God through music ministration, we wish to announce tonight the addition of Emmanuel award for Excellence in Gospel Music Ministry.
“The Emmanuel award for Excellence in Gospel Music Ministry will be given every December during this event to the Nigerian gospel music artiste, who in the last 12 months of the preceding year has demonstrated extraordinary expressive talents and deep humanism, and has been able to awaken new audiences through music ministration, presentation and teaching.”
Emmanuel presented the maiden award to Nathaniel Bassey, a gospel singer, pastor, trumpeter and songwriter, who hails from Ikot Ofon community of the state. He received a plaque and $10,000.
Event coordinator and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Aniekpeno Mkpanang, was another recipient of the Award, for his creativity and innovation. He received a plaque and the sum of N20,000,000.
The governor urged Christians to reflect on the essence of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and show love to one another during the Yuletide season, adding that Akwa Ibom Christmas Carol has, since 2015, been an event where Christians sing praises to God in acknowledgement of the birth of Christ.
Presenting a goodwill message, the Governor of Delta State and vice presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, commended Emmanuel for sustaining the Christmas Carols over the years, which, he noted, have been an avenue to connect people to God and encourage Christians to show love to one another in commemoration of the birth of Christ.
In his homily, the General Overseer, Salvation Ministries, Pastor David Ibiyeomie, who spoke on the theme ‘Go Forward’, took his text from John: 3: 16, noting that to go forward, a Christian should possess five major keys of love, global vision, faith, giving and salvation.
The event featured song ministration from music minstrels. There was special rendition by Emmanuel and wife, Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel, Nathaniel Bassey, Ronke Adesokan, Sonnie Badu, Sinach, Aity Dennis, Eben, Larry Sax and Emmanuel Iwok.
Some of the personalities, who attended the event included Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, past and serving Deputy Governors, Senators, governorship candidates of political parties and popular Nollywood personalities. Also in attendance were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Oku Ibom Ibibio, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk, and other traditional rulers.
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