PROMINENT Nigerians are expected at this year’s edition of Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols organized by Maris Schools, Amachai, Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area within the Delta State Capital Territory.
Speaking with some journalists in Asaba, Delta State, on Monday, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, said that the annual event is used to thank God for His goodness and also to prepare the people for the great feast of the Nativity.
He said, “we thank God for the gift of life and for providing a platform for people to sing His praises and thank Him annually for His goodness.
“For this year’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols of Maris Schools, Amachai, Okpanam, by the grace of God, the Deputy Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Monday Onyeme, a Knight of St. Christopher and his friends are expected to grace the occasion.
“Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ochor Christopher Ochor, is a regular face at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and he is expected to attend this year’s edition with his wife, who took one of the lessons at last year’s edition.
“Also, the Star Prince, Prince Ned Nwoko, who is the Senatorial candidate of the PDP for Delta North, a man who is passionate about moulding the youths to take up their roles as future leaders, is expected to attend the event, in demonstration of his commitment to his people; remember, you cannot talk about the feast of the Nativity without talking about the three wise men who were guided by the “Star” and Prince Nwoko is, the ‘Star Prince.’
“Chairman, Delta North PDP, Chief Moses Iduh, a man who is evidently in love with education, has given assurance that he will attend the event with his good friend, Deacon Chuks Nwaebuni, a man whom I knew through Pastor Anthony Onyia, one of the pioneer club operators in Asaba – the Tonylinks Club.
“Chief Godwill Obielum is one of the benefactors of Maris Schools and he will also, attend the ceremony with of course, his friend, the Omenosa! Chief Isaac Onyesom, a renowned philanthropist.
“The member representing Ndokwa West at the Delta State House of Assembly, Anagba! Hon. Charles Emetulu who is the Chairman, House Committee on Education and members of his family have always attended ceremonies organized by Maris Trust Council, organisers of Maris Annual Public Lecture series and as such, he was at the first Holy Mass to signal the opening of Maris Schools and is seen as one of the benefactors of Maris Schools.; he will naturally, be there by the grace of God.
“The Maris Schools’ festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a great festival that attracts Priests from the Catholic Church, the religious, Pastors from different churches because, it provide an opportunity for people to thank God, sing praises to Him, and opportunity to relax, meet old friends and for people to enjoy themselves in a convivial, education-friendly environment.
“There is no way we can list all those who have given assurances that they will attend this year’s event without naming the Chairman, PDP, Ndokwa West Chapter, Ogbuefi Lucky Okuji, who will attend the event with members of his family.
“One can recall vividly that in the past, former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and his associates, Sen. Emmanuel Aguariavwado and his friends, representatives of the Minority Leader, Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Chief Osisike and his family, Chief Emma Ejiofor, Mr Charles Aniagwu and Mr Paul Osahon, Chief Chika Ossai and members of his family, Mrs Chichebem Egwuyenga, Mr Jonathan Ochonogor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, Dr. Kemi Emina, Sir Eddy Ogidi-Gbegbaje, the Taboweis, Sir Edemu, Mr Monday Uwagwu and staff of The Pointer Newspaper, Chief Christopher Oyemike, Mr Godwin Ossai, Mr and Mrs Diachi, Lady May Inije, Lady Patricia Nwawolo, Sir and Lady G.G. Iyawa and his brother, Sir P.A.B. Iyawa, Sir and Lady Ebenuwa, Mr B.M.O. Ebonwu and his family, Mr Geofrey Ubaka and his family, Mr Peter Dumbili and his family, Hon. Collins Iwebunor, Sir Anthony Okpala, Mr Harold Ojji, my colleagues, Nelson Egware and Amaechi Udemba, leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, among numerous others are regular faces at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
“For this year’s edition, Rev. Fr. Malachy Okonkwo of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Okpanam, shall celebrate the Holy Mass at exactly 10 am at Maris Hall, Maris Schools, Amachai, Okpanam and the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols follows afterward at same venue.
“Rev. Fr. Mark Nwoko, the Spiritual Adviser of Knights of St. John’s International, Commandery 550 and Rev. Fr. A. Dunkwu are among Priests who have confirmed that they will be personally present at the event; Rev. Fr. John Konyeke will be unavoidably absent at this year’s edition as his academic activities at the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt will not permit him to attend.
“Choir groups from St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Okpanam and Catholic Church of the Ascension, Asaba have given assurances that they will be at Maris Schools to join the pupils and students in singing to the glory of God.
“It is really time to make joyful noise to the Lord as we believe that with God, it can only be better and it is our responsibilities to make the world better than we met it.”