By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
The Nigerian Navy through the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) on Sunday 5 December 2021 celebrated its first “Festival of Christmas Carol & Nine Lessons” in Abuja with the wife of the Chief of Naval Staff, Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo disclosing that the celebration is to mark the season of goodwill for “our personnel, officers and troops in the frontlines and stock taking for our individual selves and families.
Mrs Gambo made this known even as she prayed for “God Almighty to bless the Nigerian Navy, our families, our nation as a whole and also preserve our lives to witness many more of these celebrations in good health and prosperity.
Represented by Mrs Janet Ogu, wife of the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Defence Headquarters, Rear Admiral FF Ogu, the NOWA President said, “With a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty God, I welcome you all to this Christmas carol service of 2021. Christmas is that time of the year when we remember that God sent his only son ‘to serve, not to be served’.
“Christmas as we all know is a season of goodwill and a time for stocktaking. It is also a major celebration that ushers in a new year which signifies a new beginning.
“He (Jesus Christ) restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ. The essence of this carol service therefore is to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For many, Christmas is also a time for coming together. But for others, service will come first. Those serving in our armed forces, in our emergency services and in our hospitals, whose sense of duty takes them away from family and friends, will be missing those they love.
“Those who have lost loved ones may find this day especially full of memories. That’s why it’s important at this time of year to reach out beyond our familiar
relationships to think of those who are on their own.
“This celebration which comes once a year is also expected to serve as a reminder to us all of our responsibilities as individuals to our creator, humanity and ourselves as exemplified by the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“It is also my prayer that the examples of Jesus and his teachings will continue to bring people together to give the best of themselves in the service of others.
Continuing she said, “I want to use this opportunity to say a very big thank you to everyone for the support, prayers and goodwill which we have enjoyed in the past months. May the joy and blessings of this season continue to manifest in our lives.
“To the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, we truly appreciate your support and love. My sincere appreciation also extends to the Chief of Naval Staff’s ever-supportive team of PSOs, all officers and men of the Nigerian Navy present here to attend this event especially at this time of the year.
“Our earnest gratitude also goes to all invited guests, various churches, and NOWA school choir groups represented here and indeed our own NOWA Choir. To carol service committee, I say thank you for a job well-done! Let’s keep Sailing together in unison.
The theme of this year’s Carol is “Celebrating the King”.
Rear Admiral Funebi Ogu who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, read the 1st Lesson titled ‘Fall of Man, taken from Genesis Chapter 3, Verse 1 – 9, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, Commandant, National Defence College, read the 2nd Lesson titled ‘God’s Promises to Abraham’ taken from Genesis Chapter 22, Verses 12 – 24.
The 3rd Lesson titled ‘First Prophesy of the Prince of Peace’ taken from the book of the 1st Prophesy of Isiah Chapter 29, Verse 2 – 7 was read by Rear Admiral FO Isaac.
There were carols presentations from NOWA Primary School, NOWA Secondary School, Staff and Teachers from NOWA Schools, NOWA Choir, NARAWA and Combined Choir