By Kingsley Abavo, Benin

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L-R Gov Obaseki and his deputy acting as Santa Claus during the event.

L-R Gov Obaseki and his deputy acting as Santa Claus during the event.

In the spirit of the season, Edo State Government on Saturday, Xmas eve, hosted the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the International Christian Centre to a Christmas party where Governor Godwin Obaseki and Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu played the role of ‘Father Christmas’ to the admiration and excitement of the children.

The event, which was hosted by the Office of the Governor’s Wife, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki is unique in this part of the world – if not the first in recent history.

The event also afforded the children the opportunity to engage in various fun-sports activities such as bouncing castle, merry-go-round, coconut ride, electric train, mountain climber, giant water slide, swimming pool, giant shark attack, aeroplane rocking ride, dolly coin machine, princess castle, superman castle, children boogie bike, octopus, inflatable football among others.

It was also not in short supply of assorted food and drinks with gifts for everyone.

However, a new dimension was introduced – the pleasant surprise – Governor Obaseki and his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu emerged from the ‘blues’ posing as ‘Executive Santa Claus’.

On hand to support Mrs. Betsy Obaseki was the Deputy Governor’s Wife, Mrs. Maryann Shaibu.

 

The two Father Christmas, Obaseki and Shaibu greeting the children during the event.

The two Father Christmas, Obaseki and Shaibu greeting the children during the event.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has sent greetings and felicitations to the people of Edo State on the joyous occasion of the celebration of Christmas and the New Year.

In a statement signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary (Interim), John Mayaki, the governor, congratulated the people for their steadfastness, faith and support at these challenging times.

According to Obaseki, “This season reminds us not only of the humble birth of Jesus Christ more importantly of the sacrificial life that he embodied and lived even in very difficult situations”.

He urged Christians and non-Christians alike to shun ostentatious, recklessness and all manner of debaucheries, very negative indulgences which Christ and Christianity abhor.

“We hope that this season will afford us the opportunity for sober reflection, to bridge our differences, and prayers to lift up our families, friends and neighbours particularly the weak and vulnerable among us, while also reconnecting with the values that bind us together.”

Reminding the citizens of the urgent imperative to collectively deploy their energies to tackle the economic recession in the country, the governor restated his commitment to initiating and executing programmes that will reduce poverty and hunger and create new job opportunities for our teeming and energetic youths.

“The governor wishes every citizen a Merry Christmas filled with peace, progress and prosperity and a happy New Year in advance”.