Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State will attempt to shed its seeming toga of a perpetually embattled town on Friday when the coastal community plays host to more than 10,000 worshippers in its first â€˜Ultimate Praise Nightâ€™ to be attended by political leaders, monarchs and clerics worldwide.
The oil-rich local council had recently been in the news following clashes between supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the state government imposed a curfew residents believed was meant to stifle opposition in the area.
But briefing journalists in Yenagoa, the state capital wednesday, Mr Israel Sunny-Goli, the only APC member of the State House of Assembly, who initiated and is sponsoring the programme, said it was not political, stressing that irrespective of the political party, the praise night was ready to welcome everyone.
He added that adequate security had been put in place by all the security agencies in the state, noting that the military, police, Department of State Services (DSS) officers as well as men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were on ground to ensure the programme went smoothly.
Goli noted that the Ultimate Praise Night would usher in peace to the land which hosts some multi-billion naira federal government projects like the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company and would host over 20 gospel artistes to be led by Nigeriaâ€™s Frank Edwards.
â€œAs against the misperception of some persons, which of course has been expected, the praise night is not organised to champion any political cause, but principally to glorify the King of Kings.
â€œI want to assure those who have security concerns to not fret, as adequate security arrangements have already been made to protect every guest to and from Brass.
â€œLet me categorically state here that the waterways will be utterly secured and the praise night will be a huge success, hence there is no cause for alarm,â€ he told journalists.
He explained that the programme was his personal commitment to God as a result of his â€œinterminable providence and protection upon my life, my family and all those who associate with me.
â€œThis programme is not being organised by the APC but the religious leaders from our area in collaboration with me. God does not know APC or PDP.
â€œThe churches are very much involved. Thereâ€™s 100 percent assurance of security. Our guests should rest assured. The artistes are going by water. That has been taken care of. Myself, my daughter, my wife and the entire family will ride in the same boat, so no cause for alarm,â€ he assured.