In view of the precarious peace in the nation when everything is being done to unify the country, ELEOJO IDACHABA writes that gospel artistes under the banner of Middle Belt Festival will gather in Abuja between October 18 and 20 in a song of unity about the country especially the region despite the pogrom committed by bandits and criminals in the region.

In the next few days precisely between October 18 and 20 2019, gospel music artistes from across the North- Central zone of the country otherwise known as the Middle Belt region would assemble at the National Worship Centre in Abuja in what they tagged: ‘Middle Belt Praise Festival’ in solidarity with the region.

Blueprint gathered that the three-day festival is put together to show-case the uniqueness of the region in the entire Nigeria project.

It was also gathered that because of the centrality of the geographical zone, there are many things that it has to offer the country for which only the natives of the zone can tell the story as it is.

It’s a divine mandate – Rev Ornguze

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, its convener, Rev John Ornguze, a native of Gboko in Benue state who is also a citizen of the state of California in the United States said the festival is a divine mandate he got years back for which God still reminded him to carry out in order to liberate the region from the invasion of outsiders.

He said, “I came back to Nigeria this time because something bothered me. The Lord reminded me about what He showed me sometimes in 1975. He showed me that there was going to be a problem in Nigeria way back then and this has to do with Christians being killed, saying He wants the people of the zone to come together and praise Him. God said I should come and team up with people of like mind to do something about the situation in the country. The Middle Belt is not just a geographical location; it is a called people for this end time. In the region, many people were being killed; this is not about religion but a form of killings being carried out against all religious adherents in the zone. There is a divine mandate on the people of the region which the enemy is trying to terminate, but that is why God has asked us to assemble at this time to put an end to it through this music festival. God is trying to birth an Elijah out of the Middle Belt, not only for the benefit of Nigeria, but for the whole world.

Speaking further, he said, “The middle Belt is the most blessed land in Nigeria in terms of food. I don’t see any reason why any sensible nation should fold its arms and exterminate its farmers; how then do you feed yourself? This is why this call is very important to us as a zone and a country. Take for instance, today, Abuja is the capital of Nigeria in the Middle Belt and that means the region is hosting the country. What therefore God is planning to do using the likes of Dr Panam and others through music is phenomenal. Luckily when I told Dr Panam about this vision, he also confirmed that God told him about the same thing 20 years ago. This is why God has brought us together on the same page in order to share this vision to the world for Him, “he said.

Dr Panam speaks

On his part, a co-convener and international gospel artiste, Dr Panam Percy Paul thanked the media for showing interest in the things that would bring peace to the land of Nigeria especially the Middle Belt.

He said, “It is my pleasure to be given the opportunity to pilot this scheme at this time in conjunction with other colleagues in the industry. This dream is necessary because for so many years, the region has been trying to come together but unsuccessfully. The Middle Belt alone is made up of over 600 different tribes. It is now that I am able to know why God gave me this unique gift of singing in such a way that I can gain tremendous favour from people.

Talents abound in the zone – Dr Panam

“We discovered that with all the efforts that the people in the zone have made over the years in terms of their contributions towards building Nigeria, no one seems to have given them the accolades that they deserve. When I studied through history, I discovered that there were people like Dr Barau Dikko, the first medical doctor from northern Nigeria who is also a son of the Middle Belt. As we speak, the medical school in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria is named after him, but apart from that nothing is said about him again. Experiences show that whatever seems to come from the Middle Belt is subjugated by certain inexplicable forces, but then God brought us together and gave us this vision of bringing the people together because nothing works unless the people are one. This festival therefore is the most reasonable platform that can bring the people together. “Remember that it is not possible to bring the entire region together under one tradition, politics, culture or economics because of the diversities we have, but through the denominator of music especially gospel music, we can come together and forge a common identity. This is because when we sing our songs in the church, we don’t care where the songs come from south, west, east and north or anywhere; we simply sing them because it is a potent vehicle for unity. This is why this clarion call this time around is sacrosanct.

“It is an incubator of whatever God intends to do in the region. We want to use this festival to invoke the power of God. At that point, the problem that no one has a solution for would be solved by God Himself.

Blueprint gathered that apart from Dr Panam, others to perform throughout the three-day event include Prosper Ochimana, Solomon Lange, Obed Akanya, Chris Morgan, Rueben Okala, Silas Yako, Steve Crown, David G, Helen DK, Chris Delvan, Jeremiah Gyang, Dorcas Bentu and a host of others with the Middle Belt Choir performing.

Traditional rulers, politicians and eminent personalities from the country and especially the zone have been contacted to attend the three day event in Abuja.

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