The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has again stressed the need for individuals to celebrate significant milestones in their lifetime, saying that such celebrations open doors to social cooperation, shared encounters, and a feeling of a place or community.
Speaking at the 70th birthday party of a senior citizen, Mr. Johnbull Ogbotubo Youdiowei, recently at Trendy Hotel in Yenagoa, Dr. Kiyaramo emphasised that such celebrations would always remind us of our social legacies, beliefs, customs, traditions, and heritage in addition to conserving our social character and passing it to posterity.
“Celebrations unite individuals by cultivating a feeling of community and solidarity. Social legacy is based on one’s attitudes and approaches to charitable giving, capturing one’s desire to help others, and defining how your wealth can make a positive difference in the lives of others.
“These celebrations provide a sense of belonging, rootedness, and continuity with the past. By preserving our rich cultural heritage, we allow future generations to connect with their roots, understand their history, and foster a sense of cultural identity and pride.
“Festivities and celebrations often involve people buying gifts, decorations, food, and other goods and services, which can boost retail sales and increase consumer spending.
“The increased demand for goods and services during festivities and celebrations can create job opportunities in sectors such as retail, hospitality, and transportation. Social cultural factors like social classes, religious norms, wealth distribution, language, business, health practices, social values, and attitude towards work, would influence our feelings, attitudes, values, beliefs and interactions,” Dr. Kiyaramo maintained.
In his welcome remark, the host and celebrant, Mr. Johnbull Ogbotubo Youdiowei, who expressed his unreserved gratitude to God for his life, said he was honoured by the presence so many senior citizens in his 70th birthday event, reiterating that God has been so gracious towards his life and family.
Mr. Youdiowei thanked members of AJ Forum 360, his friends, associates, and well wishers who honoured his invitation to attend the birthday, just as he took time to share old memories of successes and challenges, mentioning the impact of friends and family, while looking to the future with a positive mindset.
On his part, the vice president of AJ Forum 360 and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Chief Tony Thomas, who represented the president of AJ Forum 360, Mr. Eyinimi Omorozi, used the occasion to advocate a quarterly Fele Day for members of AJ Forum 360 in memory of late Nigerian musician and activist who launched a modern style of music called Afro-beat, which fused American blues, jazz, and funk with traditional Yoruba music, Fela Kuti.
Also speaking, a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on New Media, Mr. Dave Asei stressed the need for people to celebrate while alive in appreciation of what God has done for them, just as he prayed God to keep the celebrant and his family in sound health and wellness to continue to celebrate many more birthdays.
A retired naval officer, Mr. Lawrence Alabrah who had earlier celebrated his 70th birthday on January 1, 2024, (New Year Day), maintained that turning 70 years under the current economic realities of our country could only be by the grace of God, praying that God in his infinite mercies will continue to uphold the celebrant and his family such that they will attain ripe age in sound mind, health and well-being.
Other dignitaries that graced the event were the Secretary of AJ Forum 360, Mr Odi Chris, Mr Appah Julius, Mr. Okon Martins,
Zipamo Benjamin, Chief Timpake-Engbi Ebideri Joshua (Gbe-gbe re gbe I), Ebredeni Oyinemi, Mr. Mrs. Betty Alabrah, Mr. and Mrs. Ozomoro, Mr. Perela Aboroson, Mr. James Youdiowei and Lady Comfort Binity Anibogha.
The high point of the event was the cutting of the 70th birthday cake by the celebrant who was joined by family members, AJ Forum 369 members, friends, and wishers.