OVER half a million persons last Friday besieged the Tafawa Balewa  Square in Central Lagos for what turned out to be an experience of their  life. The occasion was the fifth edition of a musical extravaganza  aptly tagged The Experience where thousands of Christian faithful  gathered to offer quality worship and praise to their Maker, The  Almighty God..

As early as 6.00 p.m., the entire space inside the Tafawa Balawa  Square had been occupied except for the reserved seats while official  ushers and other security operatives did a yeoman job directing  participants to the adjoining overflows.

Lagos State Traffic Management authority (LASTMA), Federal Road  Safety Commission, FRSC, operatives were very visible all over the arena  maintaining order outside the arena as participants struggled to get  parking space in the already jammed arena.

Armed anti_riot policemen and other security operatives were fully on  alert to forestall any breach of the peace before, during and  immediately after the event.

The strength of the music was such that several participants feared  that the very foundations of the TBS may collapse before the end of the  occasion as a result of the shaking and vibrations of the equipment as  well as the often thunderous shouts of the ‘Praise The Lord’ and the  accompanying response of ‘Halleluiah.’

The atmosphere became charged when the Governor of Lagos, Mr.  Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, picked the microphone to address the crowd,  urging them to take advantage of the mixed congregation to work in  unity as the nation approaches another election year. He charged the  worshippers to register during the forthcoming voters registration  exercise and make sure that they participate in the entire process of  electioneering and make it a success to the shame of those who think  that nothing good could come out of Nigeria.

In his own contribution which was streamed in a multimedia format and  watched on the numerous giant screens across the arena and the  overflows, President Goodluck Jonathan, acknowledge what the grace of  God has done in his own life, Dr. Jonathan admonished the mammoth crowd  of worshippers to fear God.

There were moments when several eminent spiritual leaders including  the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN,  Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, past CAN vice president, Bishop Mike Okonkwo,  Pastor Sam Adeyemi and several others took turn to offer prayers for the  electricity sector, infrastructural development, the Niger Delta,  kidnapping in the East, unity in the Church, unity and peaceful polls  next year.

The theme for this year’s event was Heaven on Earth. The convener of  the concert, Pastor Paul Adefarasin of ‘House on The Rock’ church  described The Experience as; “a fusion of more than half a million  voices, uplifted hands and eager hearts offering up a sacrifice of  praise and prayer to our Father in heaven. Here, impossibilities become  possible as believers from all walks of life, tribe, tongue,  denomination and indeed faith/creed, amalgamate in concerted worship of  the God of all flesh”; he announced.

The artistes wowed the crowd with songs, many of which were well  known to the crowd. The Nigerian representatives did a good job. So also  did Don Moen, Ron Kenoly and Judith Jacobs who took the audience  through a wholesome worship experience. Chevelle Franklin, the former  secular artiste gave an impressive performance.

It was an awesome moment as the Jamaican performed the Nigerian  national anthem together with different Nigeria songs in Yoruba and Igbo  language. Her performance was supported by very talented Emmanuelle- a  Nigerian based outside the country.

Phil Driscol was another great fellow that many people expected to  watch and he did not disappoint. His worship drew many people to  reconciliation with their maker.

The event which was the fifth in the series and apparently the  biggest since it started about five years ago attracted renowned gospel  artistes who graced the occasion included Fred Hammond, Don Moen, Bishop  Tudor Bizmark, Ron Kenoly, Mary Mary, Judy Jacobs, Erica Campbell,  Panam Percy Paul, Sammie Okposo, Mike Aremu, and many others.

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