Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at the weekend, unveiled a music talent hunt named after the outgoing Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Edo State, Bishop Oyenude Kure, to discover and groom musical talents in the state.
Obaseki made the announcement at the thanksgiving service for the outgoing CAN chairman held at Evidence of the Gospel Church in Benin City.
The governor was accompanied by his wife, Betsy, and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu, among other top government functionaries.
He said, “The church is so connected to young people and young people in Nigeria have become the real creative engine for our continent. You turn on musical channels today, Nigerian artists are all over, particularly Christian artists. For this reason, today, we will sow the seed in Edo and begin to groom our own Christian stars because of the young stars I saw minister here today.
“I have decided to establish the Bishop Kure Prize for musical talent in the church. The government and CAN as a body will set up the structure at zonal levels. The three Senatorial zones will be represented and we will have competition from Christian groups and bands of churches at the different senatorial levels.
“By October, the contest at the senatorial level will begin. We will give prizes, and by December, we will have the state final of this contest. It will be at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Sound Stage, which is the biggest soundstage in this country, and the winner or winners of that festival and the competition will be rewarded heavily.”
According to him, “The whole idea is to strengthen the connection between the young people, the church, and their creative ability. The creative industry has become so large and prosperous and the church has to be part of it and Edo must lead in this direction. I expect the youths to be part of the contest as I want to see the churches in Edo South with the best singers, choristers, bands, and the best musical directors, same in Edo North and Central, leading to the selection of those that will represent Edo nationally and internationally.
“The prize they will get will be the Bishop Kure Prize for Christian Music. This is a token to help us remind you that during your tenure as the Chairman of CAN, you went beyond the call of duty to bring everybody together, bring the church and the state together, and also brought all arms of the Christian faith together to ensure we enjoy peace and prosperity in Edo State.”
Betsy Obaseki, in her sermon, titled ‘Unity of the Church’ charged, “We should preach and live out the full gospel as we should be involved in virtually all, in government, politics and all aspects of the economy. We should have ourselves to blame for any failure.
“I thank God for Rt. Rev Oyenude Kure’s leadership in CAN as he has served meritoriously without blemish in his two terms as Edo State CAN Chairman.”