Perhaps in the society today many people are familiar with the popular and grandiose way of making a birthday by the elite. Huge sums of money are spent on procuring a venue, foods, drinks and other enabling logistics for the celebration which at the end of the day leaves the celebration with little or no grace and blessing in his life.
To Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, the idea of observing a birthday Stakes him in the opposite of society’s popular acceptable hallmark of a birthday celebration.
Consistent with Mr. Emmanuel’s background and principle of character, marking a birthday should be a passion of thanking God in a way acceptable to him and helping the less privilege that one can see around him in the society. Close friends and associates have confirmed that this has been his consistent style of marking birthdays over the years
To mark his 48th Birthday today, the State Government Secretary made it clear that he does not want sponsored ads on newspapers and magazines, Editorials, radio and television birthday wishes and any elaborate and stupendous gatherings by his friends and political associates to mark the day in his honour.
In his usual characteristics, Mr Udom Emmanuel has penciled down a number of destitute homes and orphanges that he and his family will quietly visit without any retinue of paparazzi.
This persistent birthday philosophy of this iconic public officer which is not common in our clime should be appreciated in the light of the fact that celebrating birthdays through pomp and ceremony with the creme de la creme of the society amounts to a status show of pride and affluence. The Bible in the book of James 4:6 says that God opposes the proud and gives grace to humble.
The state’s chief scribe has received remarkable grace from God for this philosophy in his life over the years and he has no reason whatsoever to depart from it. Mr. Emmanuel adamantly believes that elaborate and stupendous birthday events by an exalted public officer by reason to suit an exalted status does not and cannot in any way determine the acumen and ability of the public officer to man an office successfully.
In a distant time in the bible, it was for the reason for an elaborate and stupendous birthday observation that made King Herod in the book of Mark 6:21 – 28 to ask a delectable performer that greatly placed his heart on the occasion to ask him for a favour.
The performer in sharp and shift response asked for the head of John the Baptized. This was not to the glory of God who made the King’s birthday possible at birth and at celebrations. Had king Herod decided to mark the day by visit to help the needy and less privileged, such a bestirred incident wouldn’t have occurred.
The king’s birthday normally remain as a lesson for ever. By deciding to give succour of money, food items and clothing to a large number of children, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has greatly assisted to support the Free and compulsory Education policy of Governor Godswill Akpabio.
By this humanitarian disposition and gesture, the needy and less privilege children who are with the future academic doctors, professors, Commissioners, Minister, Governors Ambassadors and President would have material enablement with which to school and to concentrate on studies.
Happy birthday to a visionary leader.
Barr Edet writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State