By Juliet Ebirim
The Warri Choral Society on Sunday held a classical music concert in honour of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Oyegun was during the event presented with a lifetime achievement award by the group.
Some of the dignitaries present at the event include Captain Hosa Okunbor, Godwin Obaseki – governor of Edo state, Olusegun Osoba – former governor of Ogun State, Dr. Leke Pitan, Barr. Muiz Banire among others. The concert was held at the Muson Centre, Lagos.
The critically acclaimed music group thrilled the audience with the best of classical music. Guests were treated to selected pieces from three great music masters, G.F. Handel, W.A. Mozart and Joseph Hayden.
The Warri Choral Society, which was founded in 1992 by Mr Joe Ayonmike is a non-profit organization registered with the Delta State Ministry of Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture and which has grown over the years to be one of the finest choral ensembles in the country. Delta State Governor, Sen Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, who was personally invited by Chief Oyegun, was represented at the concert by the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Hon. Patrick Ukah.
Speaking about his decision to dedicate the Ayonmike Concert No 57 to honouring Oyegun, Ayonmike said it was to appreciate him for the good he did to him in 1983 as the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance without asking for a dime. He also emphasized that the gathering was not political and had no political undertone. “Today’s gathering is not political. I don’t belong to any party, APC or PDP or anything. The Award and Concert is just to appreciate and honour a man who in 1983, when I took an offshore loan of 200 Million Naira to build the first Five Star Hotel in Abuja, then a new and undeveloped place and John Oyegun was the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, he did his best for me. Before getting to his table, I had about five layers to deal with and each of them made demands in cash and kind as bribe before signing my papers. But when I got to him, the story was different. He gladly approved it without asking for a dime. So, I decided to do this for him”, Ayonmike said.
The concert, a combination of choruses and solos was in two parts and was directed by Mrs C.S. Ayonmike, Ph.D, a lecturer in Technology at the Delta State University, Abraka. Some of the songs include Handel’s “Caesar! Caesar!”, “As When The Dove Laments Her Lover”, “From Mighty Kings”, “Virtue My Soul Shall Still Embrace”, “Blessed Be God”, “The Lord Shall Reign”, “The Lord Our Enemy Has Slain”, “Descend Kind Pity” and “Gird On Thy Sword”. Also, the WCS performed Mozart’s “We Are All Contented” and “From Now On”. And there was Hayden’s “Sing The Lord Ye Voices All”.
Also speaking at the event, the chairman of the occasion, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki commended the Warri Choral Society, saying it is of international standard and promised to work towards setting up a Benin Choral Society. On his part, Oyegun thanked the WCS for the honour.