Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Group marks 180 years of Christmas celebration in Badagry

Solomon Bonu, the organiser of the event tagged “Christmas in Badagry Since 1842″ said that in Nigeria, Christmas was first observed in Badagry.

• December 28, 2022
Badagry Christmas party
Badagry Christmas party

Some Christians residing in Badagry and other parts of the country on Wednesday ended a series of activities marking the 180th celebration of Christmas in the ancient town.

The four-day activities, started on December 25, came to an end on Wednesday with live performance from different gospel singers brought in from Nigeria and Republic of Benin.

Solomon Bonu, the organiser of the event tagged “Christmas in Badagry Since 1842″ said that in Nigeria, Christmas was first observed in Badagry.

According to Mr Bonu, the immediate past Special Adviser to Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tourism, Arts and Culture, the programme was initiated to bring Christians from different parts of the country to commemorate 180 years of Christmas celebration.

“Here in Badagry, we have a place called Agia Tree, that is where Christianity was first preached in Nigeria and celebration of Christmas followed.

“We just thought of it that there is a need to gather people together to celebrate Christmas in Badagry with lots of interesting events lined up for their enjoyment.

“We started the programme on Dec. 25 with a Christmas Parade by many people with Christmas clothes, singing and dancing to announce the beginning of the event.

“The second day was an Old School Night, where Christians dressed in old School attires and gathered at Atah junction at a popular roundabout in Badagry to enjoy themselves.

“On the third day, different Christian families gathered at Badagry Theatre to enjoy a movie about Badagry, the coastal town.

“Today, we have brought notable gospel singers both local and international for the enjoyment of Christmas.

“We have Deborah Osaba, Bisi Emmanuel, Saint Banky from Nigeria and Johnny Sourou from Republic of Benin and a host of others for their enjoyment,” he said

Mr Bonu said that in continuation of the programme, they would trace the origin of missionaries that came to preach Christianity in Nigeria in the United Kingdom.

“The event will continue next year. We are going to the United Kingdom to trace the origin of the missionaries that came to Badagry.

“We will locate their descendants and bring them to Badagry to celebrate Christmas with us, they brought it,” he said.

Mr Bonu said Badagry could be turned into a place for religious tourism.

Also speaking, Bisi Onala, one of the coordinators of the event, said they had long prepared for the event.

“Christmas was celebrated in Badagry 180 years ago and we want the world to know that Christianity came to Nigeria through Badagry.

“Badagry is a symbol of unity and we want to spread love to the world,” she said.

Gabriel Emmanuel, one of the gospel singers, described Badagry people as lovely and lively.

Mr Emmanuel said he was happy to be part of 180 years of Christmas celebration in Badagry.

Jonny Sourou, a gospel singer from the Republic of Benin, said he was happy to participate in the event and urged the organisers to continue it in 2023.

Debby Gandonu, a musician, said it was a great experience.

“Celebrating 180 years of Christmas here in Badagry is wonderful and I really enjoyed myself.”

She urged Christians to emulate Jesus Christ, because His birth brought peace and salvation to the world.

Cecilia Idowu, a resident of Badagry, commended the organisers for putting up a wonderful programme for Christmas celebration in the area. 

(NAN)

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