Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Stella Obasanjo Children’s Home, Abeokuta, Ogun State, came alive at Christmas as the Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, serenaded the children and members of staff of the home.
The home, which has served as a place of refuge for motherless babies and abandoned children, became electrified with Christmas activities as the deputy governor, accompanied by some top government functionaries, visited it to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Apart from donating food items, clothes, toiletries and other consumables to the home under the supervision of the Women Affairs and Social Development, the visitors treated the children to sumptuous meal.
The children, dressed to suit the celebration, radiated joy and felt loved as they danced during the party. Salako-Oyedele admonished children to be of good conduct, obey instructions just as she tasked vocational students to be up and doing in their apprenticeship to be self-reliant and be better individuals: “I want to implore you to continue to be good boys and girls, obey your teachers instructions, because they are here to guide you to do your school work very well. Whoever is in apprenticeship should be focused, so that by the time you leave here, you will be well endowed.”
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Oluranti Oladehinde, thanked government for supporting the home. She lauded the deputy governor for her show of love to the children.
An inmate of the home, Mojisola, expressed her delight over the Christmas party, noting the home actually felt the spirit of the yuletide.
In another development, the Treasure House of God fed over 12,000 people to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Beneficiaries were given rice, beef and cash tokens to help them celebrate Christmas.
The programme tagged, “Jesus Feast” according to the chairman of the event committee, Deacon Kayode Ogunjimi, the gesture was to follow the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ. He said through the programme, God has used the church to bless the people and the congregation.
He disclosed that the gesture was not primarily meant for Christians alone, but for all souls who needed to be happy at the birth of Jesus Christ: “The token is to meet the needs of the people in a little way we can.
“People have been trooping in since the eve of Christmas and the number of people coming has continued to increase. That is to tell you that we are going to meet with our target of 12,000.”
He urged churches, well-to-do individuals and corporate organisations to emulate the gesture so as to give the less privileged hope of tomorrow and sense of belonging: “Imagine if we can have about five or six churches or corporate individuals doing this kind of programme, the society will be better off.”
The Set Man of the Church, Pastor Seye Senfuye, prayed for the beneficiaries, saying the church would continue to serve as a place of refuge and comfort zone for the needy, irrespective of their religious beliefs.
A beneficiary, Dada Owoyemi, said the gesture of the church would serve as a positive signal of hope for the needy in the society. He added that food items would go a long way in making his family happy during the festivity.
Another beneficiary, Madam Okelola Sarah, thanked the church for its milk of kindness. She said she was at the programme just to satisfy her curiosity, urging other religious organisations to come to the aid of the less privileged.
For Musiliu Akinnade, the gesture of the church should be emulated by both Islamic and Christian religious organisations, not only at the festive periods such as Christmas but other periods. He added that spirit of feeding the poor should be imbibed by wealthy Nigerians in order alleviate sufferings of the needy.
Afolabi Adeoye, a student, said the “goodies” by the church indeed lightened his burden.
He wanted people who have been blessed by God to support the church in order to be able to sustain the annual programme.