…As Ikot Ayan Itam Choral Competition ends in a grand style
By Ememobong John
Youths of Ikot Ayan Itam in Itu local government area has expressed their gratitude to God for peace, progress and development of the community experienced in recent times.
Some of the participants at the annual Choir competition in the area while speaking to Century Newsfront made this assertion on the closing ceremony bared their minds on the gains of the competition, appreciated the organizer, Akparawa James Edet for painstakingly and consistently putting up the events in the community, “we really appreciate Akparawa James Edet for this show of love in our community. I thank God for his life; I also thank him for spending his resources to encourage the youth of this area by arranging this choral competition every year. We will ever remain grateful to him as we also urge our political leaders to emulate such gesture by a private citizen”.
The Occasion, which took place at the St. John’s Primary School, Ikot Ayan Itam had five Churches participated in both singing and bible quiz competitions. The competing choirs were: The Apostolic church, Isong Enwongo Assembly; St. John’s Catholic Church; The Apostolic Church, Ikot Ayan Itam Assembly; The Assemblies of God and The Presbyterian church of Nigeria Ikot Ayan Itam. The Presbyterian church of Nigeria emerged as the winner in Bible quiz with The Apostolic Church, Isong Enwongo Assembly emerged the overall winner; St. John’s Catholic Church came second and The Apostolic church Ikot Ayan Assembly came third in this year’s edition of the competition.
Speaking at the event, the sponsor and convener of the Annual competition, Akparawa James Edet thanked God for the grace bestowed on him to run the event successfully in the past nine years, stressing that for the past nine years, they are still moving forward despite the crunch in the economy of the country, “this is the 9th edition of the praise festival still waxing stronger to the glory of God”. He said that he is not in a haste to stop the competition that this serves as a ‘give back to the community’ initiative.
While talking to Newsfront Century, Akparawa James Edet, Deputy Director, Programmes in the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) said the occasion was indeed a success as people came out in good number to praise God. He noted that there is greater improvement in the different Choir compared previous editions of the festival. Akparawa James Edet who also is the Deputy National President of the leading socio-cultural organizations in the state, Mboho Mparawa Ibibio revealed that his responsibility is to return all glory to God who has helped him and his family members over the year, “My duty is to provide the finance and resources while the joy and glory go to God”. He added that the aim of the praise festival is to gather together as a community and praise God in one accord, stressing that when he began the journey nine years ago, people thought it had political undertone.
In his contribution, the village head of Ikot Ayan Itam, Chief Dr. John Effiong Uruk commended the participating choirs for finding out time to participate in the occasion despite their busy schedule. The royal father commended the sponsor and convener, Akparawa James Edet for his tireless effort in making sure the annual praise festival is success. He prayed God to blessed and grace them more grace to continually feature to the glory of God.
Stressing on the impacted of the competition to the community positively, the village head who also is the Chairman, Traditional Medicine Practioners Akwa Ibom state said that the Annual competition has helped develop and showcase talents abound in the area. He harped on the need for more Choir groups and the entire community to participate actively in the praise festival so as to praise God in one accord. Reacting at the event, the winning choirs roll out drums and dance around praising God in the community with their trophies. The event featured singing competition, Bible quiz, children’s party, presentation of trophies to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions as well as presentation of certificates of participation with cash prizes to the participating choirs. The sponsor equally used the platform to present clothing materials (wrappers) to the elderly men and women of the different Choir groups, presentation of writing materials to children by the convener among others.