The Senator-elect for Ogun East Senatorial District, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, on Sunday, said he was grateful to God that his recent election to the National Assembly remained the only election in Ogun State not challenged at the tribunal. Daniel, who served as governor of the state between 2003 and 2011, made the remark while speaking at the 2nd annual Asiwaju of Remo Christians Choir Festival held at the Abraham’s Tabernacle, an international ecumenical worship centre in Sagamu under the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
The gathering for choral performances, with the theme “Grateful Hearts,” was attended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State who was represented by one of his special advisers, traditional rulers led by representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and eminent personalities.
In his remarks, Daniel, who contested as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate in the 2023 elections, declared that he would forever be grateful to people for the unprecedented support given to him at the polls.
Noting that his victory did not become a subject of litigation unlike some other candidates, the Senator-elect said his election will spur him to do more in promoting causes that would add value to the country and its people.
According to him, the choir festival has spiritual and moral essence for preaching the gospel through music and improving singing in churches in the community and Nigeria at large.
Daniel explained that though Nigeria was currently beset with challenges bordering on economy, complete collapse of value system and other issues, the country would thrive if every citizen makes deliberate effort to add value to the system.
He said, “We have challenges in our country and all of us have responsibilities in our own little way to see what we can do to add value. You will notice that in the course of our campaign, what we were doing was to add value to the society.
“It’s not as if we don’t know what to do with money but what’s the meaning of money when the people next door to you are suffering and they are hungry and angry? And that is why you see that our campaign was just about going around and helping people.
“I want to thank all of you, the amount of support you have given us was unprecedented. I was informed that of all the people who contested elections in Ogun State, it is only OGD’s election that has not been challenged by anybody. So, when we say we have a grateful heart, we know what we are talking about. We just must be grateful.”
The former governor, who is the Asiwaju of Remo Christians, lauded religious leaders, notably Christian and Muslim clerics, for their various contributions to the stability of the nation.
“If not because of the contributions of the church and the Muslim community, I don’t know what would have happened in this country. And that is why we must continue to encourage all the men of God, both the Christian and Muslim men of God, for the stabilization that they are doing in our society,” he added.
Daniel also appreciated Obasanjo for gracing the choir festival which, he noted, was the first time the former president would visit the church since it was built over 20 years ago in honour of the Senator-elect’s late father, Most Rev. Abraham Adebola Daniel.
Speaking earlier, Obasanjo stressed the need for engaging in thanksgiving, saying Nigerians have several reasons to be thankful to God.
Meanwhile, the New Wine Ensemble, Lagos emerged the overall winner of the choir festival with a star prize of N2million presented by Otunba Daniel, who was accompanied by his wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel.
The Viva de Chorale, Ibadan came second in the contest, winning N1million cash prize, while the Chamber Music Chorale, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye emerged third with N700,000 prize.
In the overall group performance by criterion, the New Wine Ensemble emerged the best in vocal quality, Great Remo Chorale emerged best in diction and articulation while Viva de Chorale was the best in interpretation.
The Chamber Music Chorale emerged the best in audience appreciation, De Emeralds Choir emerged best in dynamics while Abraham’s Tabernacle Choir was the best in costume.