Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers State, was agog with celebration on June 13, 2018, when Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs commemorated his 54th birthday at the Cheshire Home, Creek road, opposite the Borikiri New Market, with the physically challenged young men and women who reside in the home.
Accompanied by close friends, associates, family members and business colleagues,, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who wanted a modest celebration, used the occasion to draw attention once more to the plight of the physically challenged and less privileged in the society, even as he charged them to be hopeful and always put their trust and faith in Lord always.
Addressing the residents of the home, after the introductory formalities and other preliminary celebration activities, Chief Lulu-Briggs, who grounded his message on the famous hymn, Amazing Grace, by the Christian evangelist, John Newton, told the them of how Captain Newton, while commanding a slave ship filled with blacks in the time of slave trade, was moved by the solemn hummings of the slaves. This, he said, inspired Newton to pen down the lyrics of the song, which changed his life forever, and has now become inspirational to many people all over the world.
He then adonished the inmates to always be hopeful and live their lives to the fullest everyday, even as he assured them that just as sunshine in the daytime is often followed by the glow of stars at night, so will the light in their lives continue to shine, adding that though the Sun may go down sometimes, the light of life will never cease once there is hope and faith that the Lord is always in control of every situation.
Celebrating with his co-birthday mates, Miss Abiye Igwe, an inmate of Cheshire home and also Professor Andrew Efemini of UNIPORT, who was on his entourage, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, offered handsome cash donations to the 35 inmates of the home, as well as the matron who supervises the facility and also pledged to offset the several months backlog of salaries owed the staff of the home and rehabilitate their welfare facilities including the kitchen and other conveniences.
Those who spoke at the birthday occasion were Pastor Ebizimo Diri of the Salvation Ministries, and Miss Gift Ijindah, President of DYF23. Pastor Ebizimo gave a motivational exohortation on rewards of service and charged those who worked with Dumo Lulu-Briggs to always inform him of their activities on his behalf so that the objective of the task would be fulfilled in unity.
He then delivered a powerful prayer for Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, as well as for the inmates of the home and the rest of the gathering, after his sermon.
Miss. Gift Ijinda, President of the Dumo Youth Foundation, DYF 23, who also ğave a brief speech, extolled the boundless generousity of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, which has cut across all segments of society including widows, students, market women and the less priviledged, amongst others.
The Vote of thanks was given by Barr. Alfred Eke, who was once an resident of the Cheshire Home and who confessed that for the 26 years he had spent at the home, arriving when he was 4 years old, before going to study for his law degree and embracing other pursuits both at home and abroad, he had never met a man who was so highly placed yet was so humble in his simplicity to always come and spend time and his birthdays with the less privileged and physically challenged inmates of the Cheshire Home.
“I have been in this home since i was 4 yesrs old and spent 26 years here before going out and in all my years here I have never met a man who was so highly placed in Society and yet was so humble and has brought himself so low to come here and spend time with us. I have seen some big people come here and they would not even shake our hands or gives us a hug, but Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who incidentally is my inlaw through my Kalahari wife, is a personification of humility and kindness. I thank you for everything you have been doing for us in this home over the years. You are indeed God-sent and while I will appeal that you continue to visit us as you have always been doing, pray that God will bless you for all you have done for us,” the brilliant lawyer concluded.
Highpoints of the celebration included a musical rendition and a happy birthday ditty for the main celebrant, by the Cheshire Home choir as well as the presentation of prizes to the winners of the Dumo Lulu-Briggs Essay competition, titled: “Rivers of Dreams” which has been handled and supervised by Rhythm 93.7 Radio station, Port Harcourt, in conjunction with DYF 23, for children between the ages of 13-19, resident in Port Harcourt.
Other highlights were the presentation of awards and birthday mementoes to Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, by DYF 23, Nigeria Law Students Association, Rivers state and the Initiative for Change and Development (ICD), as well as a special Cutting of the birthday cake session with Miss Abiye Igwe, the Chesire Home celebrant, which was followed by a stream of group photographs as the Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs posed with over 20 groups and countless individuals, who were caught up in the great pomp and exicitment of the celebration and all wanted to be identified and captured with him in pictures, for posterity
The Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs 54th birthday celebration event at Port Chesire Home, which had been preceeded earlier in the day, by a fun filled gathering of friends, family members and peers at his residence in Port Harcourt, to wish him a happy birthday with songs, merriment and cutting of cake, was rounded off with the donation of food items including bags of rice, cartons on noodles, tons of beverages and quantum of other household items.
The presentation of the items was made on behalf of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs by the management of Platform Oil, led by Mr. Osadolor, who noted that the gesture was in recognition and emulation of the uncensored philantrophy of the celebrant, whose generosity has become legendary and all encompassing, just as he pledged more donations and goodwill for the home and inmates in future.
Receiving the mammoth donations and items, the Matron of Port Harcourt Cheshire Home, in an emotion laden voice, thanked Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs for the unparalled kindness and warmth he has continually exhibited towards the home and its inmates over the years and prayed for his divine protection and the fulfilment of his desires and expecttions, even as she urged all those present support the ambitions of the celebrant to achieve his quest in the state and be more enabled to to do more good deeds for the people and for humanity.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion at Cheshire home for the birthday celebration includes, Rt. Hon. Iyk Oji, former Deputy Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly, Lady Joi Nunieh and Elder Lolo Ibieneye, spokesperson of the Kengema Osaki political advocacy group, amongst others. They were joined in the joyous commemorations by several groups, including the Old Port Harcourt Boys group, the Professional lawyers Forum, the Unique Ladies of Port Harcourt, the Kalabari True Patriots led by its President Comrade Duke Alamboye, the Liberation Movement, the DLB Network, the Akuma group from AKULGA, the Comprehensive Secondary School, Port Harcourt Old Boys Alumni Association (1980), the All Progressives Congress, APC Executives form.AKULGA and the members of the Grand Rivers Alliance, GRA, amongst others.
Photos from DLB Media Team