By Timothy Adaki Photos: Ken Ehimen
The ancient city of Benin was agog with shouts of celebrations and felicitations when one man and one event took centre stage.
It was the 84th birthday ceremony of no other person than His Excellency, Sir (Chief) Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom.
The birthday celebration began with a Service of Praise and Thanksgiving at St Gabriel, The Archangel Catholic Church, Sapele Road, where adoration was offered unto the Creator as coordinated by the Rev. Fr. Augustine Ehigie and church officials.
This was followed by the Annual Morning Dew Birthday Interdenominational Devotion at the God’s Historic Chapel in Benin City where prayers were offered, scriptures read and hymns sang to appreciate the Supreme Being. There was also a special saxophone rendition by Rev. Fr. James China Okosisi for the celebrant. On ground also was the female gospel artist, Sinach, who led the congregation in throes of worship.
The event reception which was held at the residence of this unequivocally brilliant mind witnessed a potpourri of the nation’s high and mighty as they trooped out in their numbers to appreciate the goodness of the creator upon his praise-worthy life.
Call the event fantasy brought to reality and you are close to aptly defining it. Call it a breathtaking, mouth-opening event and you are not far from perfect.
In essence, words would fail to capture the captivating beauty of the event.
Mouth-watering delicacies and drinks were supplied in surplus as there was more than enough for everyone.
Dignitaries who graced the event included Senator Ben Obi, erstwhile Special Adviser to former president, Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-Party Affairs, Mrs. Bola Obasanjo, wife of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Deputy Governor, Ondo state, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki and wife, Betsy Obaseki, Deputy Governor of Edo state, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, Chief Judge of Edo state, Justice Esohe Ikponwen, Former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, Dr. Felix Omobude, Superintendent of Gospel Light International Ministries, The Otunba Adekunle Ojora and his wife, and Emir of Borgu Kingdom, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Haliru, Danladi Bako.
Others were Minister of State for Health, Honorable E. Osagie Ehanire and his wife, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Former Governor of Imo state, Chief (Dr.) Achike Udenwa, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Osasere Orumwnse, Vice Chancellor of Okada University, Prof. Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezemonye amongst others.