Elder Dikam Garba Dabo’ok and his wife, Mrs. Ka’a Nafung have lived together as husband and wife for 70 years. But the couple, now 107 and 95 years respectively, decided to renew their marital vows in the church in front of a large crowd.
The church ceremony which held at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Chizu village in Bwai, Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State will definitely go down in the pages of the community social diary. This is because the celebrants are the first couple in the history of the town to be wedded in church at such unusual ages.
At 95, the bride’s first child is 65 years old. The groom, popularly known as Baba Dikam, may no longer be sexually active. But all that is not enough to discourage the couple from walking down the aisle arm-in-arm to renew their vows. The groom was dressed in black fitted suite and a red bow tie to match, while the bride stepped out dressed in a pure white wedding gown with a neatly made hair to match.
The officiating pastor of the church, Rev. Tongwe Sale, congratulated the couple and admonished them as if they were young couples. He said: “Marriage is ordained by God and it should be kept sacred.” He charged them to keep faith in God since they are still alive, noting that although they are old, they can still be important in the lives of their children and grand children.”
They happy couple took an oath that they would love themselves until death do them apart and signed their marriage certificate.
At the colourful reception party, the elated groom narrated his life story to the bewildered crowd saying it was by the grace of God he was able to wed in church on a day like this.
According to him: “I had seven wives and 32 children during my younger days, but I did so because I did not know Christ. But that made me great among my contemporaries as only those who were wealthy could do that. But in spite of that, God remained faithful and merciful for me. I have a lot of testimonies to show that God was so faithful to me. I am now in a better position to advise my children and my well wishers to live the life of Christ. I don’t want any of my children to emulate my past life style, because you may fall out of the grace and mercies of God. But I’m so pleased because my children are committed to Christ; they lived the life of Christ, they were the ones that insisted I must come to Christ and take their mother to the altar.
“Before now we lived our lives outside Christ, but from today, we are now confirmed children of Christ. It would have been worse for us if we had died without Christ. But God has protected our lives up till this moment to come to Him.”
One of the children of the couple, Barr. Zephaniah Garba was full of appreciation and praises to God while speaking to newsmen. He said: “I am full of joy today because my father has come to profess Christ at his old age. I have been looking forward to this day and I thank God they were able to make it. I want to encourage those who did not conduct their marriage in Christian way to try and do so; it is never late. My father’s own should be an example to others, you can still do it”.
There were goodwill messages from the Chairmen of PCC Kabwir, Rev. David Musa, and Langtang North local government chairman elect, Hon. Daniel Dandul, while various dance groups thrilled guests to special dances.