The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Ebonyi state has organized Christmas carol of nine lessons in appreciation to God for his goodness to them especially protection on them during the 2019 election year.
During the occasion at the commission’s headquarters in Abakaliki recently, the state Resident electoral commissioner Professor Godswill Obioma showed visible joy and gratefulness to God in dancing, songs of praises and playing of various musical instruments for his benevolence on the commission and for the grace to celebrate his 37th wedding anniversary which coincided with the celebration.
He opined that for one to enter the new year with clear conscience in good terms with Christ, all must seek forgiveness of anyone they have offended within the year, added that rendering unceasing praises to God irrespective of the circumstance is the best attitude in life and opens up opportunities for blessings from God.
“There are many things to celebrate today. There are people at the hospital today in terrible situations. They are not celebrating, or maybe celebrating in pains, but you are here today breathing the breath of life. So, it calls for us to thank the Almighty God. INEC Ebonyi state in a special way is grateful to God for his divine protection on us this election year. In other states they have much causality but here God was so gracious to us” the REC proclaimed.
Giving the words of exhortation, a Roman Catholic clergyman and the Director of Citizens Advocate newspaper Abakaliki Rev. Fr. Ifeanyi Ogodo who opined that the society is experiencing decays because parents have abandoned their parental responsibilities in search for wealth and fame urged all and sundry to demonstrate lessons in the celebration of Christ’s humanly birth.
Collaborating the REC, Fr. Ogodo encouraged all to seek for forgiveness from anybody they must have stepped on their toes within the year and to imbibe the habit of alms giving to the less privileged ones.
He charged INEC REC and staff to share strong love, unity among themselves and have strong mature division of labor to do their work efficiently and validly to the state and nation in general,thereby living up to the laudable aims of its establishment.
“For our celebration to be meaningful, Christmas must reveal the greatness of love and charity. And they say, charity begins at home. I want to ask you, this is an INEC family. Am happy about what I see today, I am happy. That everybody is here many clapping, these ones singing, the REC dancing, beating the drum, gong and everybody, what a happy family! But I want to emphasize, make sure that you people did not just make this a superficial charity.
“Make sure you are not just acting up because charity begins at home. The bus of the new Ebonyi must be moved by you. That bus must be kicked off from here. Because after election what you declare is what we are going to meet. Whatever you declare, I don’t know whether you understand the power you have. INEC have the power over Nigeria just like the power God has over the world. When you declare it remains? And that is why for you to declare validly there must be strong unity among you, strong love and mature division of labor flowing from the heart and the within. That is the spirituality that you must imbibe not just reading the Bible or doing any other things.
“When we come for Christmas carol of nine lessons we are only repeating the history of salvation and therefore, those who repeat, act and sing the choruses of our salvations must become saviours. Now, saviour to whom. You could be a saviour to people in your street but you have not cued in. Go back to your street and find out whom you think you are better off and better his/her life, on till then whatever we are doing here is cosmetic spirituality.
“We must be ready to die for love that was what Jesus did and we are celebrating him,if you wish to be celebrated do the same. We must be ready to defend the truth no matter where it is. We must be ready to stand out even when nobody is ready to stand with us. We must live the reality of a continuous incarnation.
“You may have inherited a decayed system but you can transform it. You may have made a horrible mistake in the past but the Christmas is another time for a new year and a new beginning. Your sins may be so much but remember God’s love is always greater than your sins which was why Jesus came.
“Appropriate Christmas so that whatever we sing in the nine carols, whatever we read in nine lessons and whatever we have demonstrated we may go home to live the truth, love, charity and joy.”
The state Governor chief David Umahi represented at the occasion by the state commissioner for culture and tourism Barr Mrs. Ogechi Ogbaga reminded all the need to celebrate in peaceful atmosphere, be good ambassadors of the state, show love and be security conscious.
On her part, the state Corp commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Mrs. Stella Uchegbu represented by the Assistant Corp Commander Operations Mrs. Ekwuluonu Patience advised all to respect the road safety rules to be alive for their loved ones as they travel for the festivities.
The celebration which coincided with the 37th wedding anniversary of the state Resident electoral commissioner Prof. Godswill Obioma featured performances by many choir groups, drama, recitation on God’s invincibility and greatness by one master Chinoso Nwafor, words of exhortation, melodious praises and spontaneous dances to God among others.