Okon Bassy in Uyo
Top international artistes including Bob Fitts, Elsie Otoo, Ron Kenoly, among others are expected to performed at this yearâ€™s Akwa Ibom State-organised Christmas Carol Festival which holds tomorrow, December 22, 2017.
This yearâ€™s edition of the programme with the theme: â€˜Emmanuel: God is with usâ€™, will have Pastor Agu Iroko of the Jesus House branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, London as the guest minister.
Over 10 million people from more than 45 countries around the world are expected to follow annual Christmas Carol event which would take place at the Uyo township stadium already decorated for the festival.
The Akwa Ibom State annual Christmas forum which started in 2008 made the Guinness Book of Records in 2014 having presented 30,000 participants, the largest choir ever assembled for a Christmas Carol across the globe.
According to the State Information Commissioner, Mr Charles Udoh, to journalists wednesday that the 2016 edition of the Christmas carol had more than 9,000,000 from 38 countries logged on to the programme official website and twitter handle within four hours of it commencement.
Udoh said more people are expected to follow the event this year following the interest it has continued to generate around the world.
He said gospel artistes to feature in the event include Bob Fitts and Ron Kenoly and 10 other popular gospel artists from within and outside Africa.
The commissioner equally added that the Akwa Ibom State Government choir and the 5,000 strong Carol Night choir featuring choristers from the 31 local government of the state.
He made known that Choral groups from Europe and the United States had also signified their intention to participate in the event including a choral group from the Cameroun.
Udoh disclosed that the eventâ€™s website would be the first 100 per cent bilingual event website in the country featuring English and Ibibio languages.
He said adequate security measures have been taken to ensure the safety of guests while heath care personnel in case of any health challenges from the visitors.
On financial burden on the state government by the event, the commissioner said because of its previous success and popularity the carol night has attracted sponsorship from corporate organisations which has drastically reduced the burden on the state government.
â€œBut we are a state named after God. We are almost 100 per cent Christians and when we come out to do something like this we are doing it to celebrate God and His love for us as a people and for us to show that we appreciate God. For me anything we can spend on this is justifiableâ€