Vanguard (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: In Lagos, U.S. Marks Obama's Inauguration With Songs

It was all songs of victory last week at the residence of the U.S Consul General, Jeffery Hawkins when it played host to a mixed audience comprising ex-ministers, clergy, culture activists, United States Citizens and human rights activists, who gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the 44th US President, Barack Obama.

The evening also doubled as opportunity to mark the birthday of Martin Luther King jnr.

After remarks by Vice-Consul Rachael Okunubi and Counter Narcotics Adviser, Michael Bonner, the Apostolic Church Nigeria, Obalende Assembly choir, took the center stage and supplied songs of victory befitting the mood of the evening.

With Kaleb Inyang conducting, the choristers entertained the audience with songs such as "Courage, Brother Do not Stumble", "Joy Comes In the Morning", "Go into the World and preach the Good News to all Creation" and "A Selection".

When the Ikoyi Baptist Church Choir made ready to render, "Lift every voice and sing", which was written by James Weldon to celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln in 1900, the entire audience stood up as it is customary whenever the negro song is rendered anywhere. Other renditions included "Swing low, Sweet Chariot", "Rise, Shine for the Light's is coming", "He;s got the whole World in His hands" and many others.

In his opening remarks, Jeffery Hawkins stated that, " I am truly amazed with the interest of over 51 percent of Nigerians in Obama's successful win. Unity and diversity is what makes America great and this is similar to Nigeria. America and Nigeria are alike in drawing from collective experiences to make them better poised for tomorrow challenges".

Obama's inauguration was dynamic as he swore to two oats of office, one of which he did by swearing with the thriving bible of Martin Luther King jnr., the man renowned for his contributions to the freedom of black Americans, and the other for Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed the slaves."

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