By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Information and Strategy Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Charles Udoh has said that over 10 million people from over 45 countries around the world are expected to follow this year’s Christmas Carol Festival organised by the state government this Friday in Uyo.
Udo who stated this in a chart with correspondents in Uyo, today explained that 2016 edition of the carol festivals had over 9,000,000 from 38 countries logged on to the programme official website and twitter handle within four hours it commenced.
The Commissioner said that the annual Christmas programme has become an important feature in the end of year calendar for the state. With the theme for this year being, Emmanuel: “God With Us”, more people are expected to follow the event this year going by the interest it has continued to generate around the globe.
He listed gospel artists to feature in the event to include Bob Fitts, Ron Kenoly, Elsie Otoo, David Ekene, Eno Michael, Ezikiel Umoh, Kingsley Ike Anaikah Ubiebifayan and other popular gospel artists from within and outside Nigeria in addition to the Akwa Ibom state based artists
Government choir and the 5,000 strong Carol Night choir featuring choristers from the 31 local government of the state are also expected.
Pastor Agu Irukwu of the Jesus House branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the United Kingdom is slated to be the guest preacher.
Udoh further stated that, the event’s website is the first hundred percent Bi Lingual event website in the country featuring English and Ibibio languages and would be streamed online and on air on DSTV, AIT and other networks outside the country while adequate security measures have been taken to ensure the safety of guests.
The Commissioner disclosed that due its previous successes and popularity, the event has attracted sponsorship from corporate organizations, thus, reduced the financial burden on the state government.
“But we are a state named after God. We are almost hundred percent Christians, when we come out to do something like this we are doing it to glorify God and celebrate His love for us as a people and to show that we appreciate,” he stressed.
Akwa Ibom State Christmas Carol Festival made the Guinness Book of Records in 2014 for making the largest choir ever assembled for a Christmas Carol where 30,000 persons participated.