The Ganduje exemplary feat –
By Muhammad Isa Bilal
It will not be out of context to state that, the best of men is one whose life and wealth affect others positively; whoever is blessed with prosperity in his life time and remembers the needy by helping them out of socio-economic distress will surely be remembered and adored by posterity.
We should all be guided by the fact that; the choice of being poor or rich in material terms is not ours, but by a sheer anointing of providence.
There are of course, many millionaires in our midst, but the rate of poverty is ironically and astronomically growing by the day; to corroborate this fact, the United Nations (UN) recently declared Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world. Also, our own National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) had this year revealed that 61.7 percent of Nigerians are afflicted by pernicious poverty; this translates to about 120 million Nigerians living in poverty.
This is regrettably true, because the political leaders and their elite counterparts in the private sector have jettisoned charity and philanthropic gestures that are supposed to get to the most vulnerable and the indigent class. We all the while forgot that when a man dies his success, integrity, fame, position and riches die with him, he can only be remembered for the good or bad reputation he leaves behind.
It is outrageously insensible for someone to amass millions or billions of Naira in his bank without positively touching the lives of the ordinary people around him or her.
I am not against whoever is privileged to be prosperous, but it is Qur’anically and Biblically expedient to remember and give to the poor, if this is adhered to, it is possible, peradventure the rate of dimensional cases of banditry, armed robbery, communal violence, kidnapping and other elements of criminality that have permeated our landscape may reduce significantly.
It is a fact that all indices have shown that the major triggering factor of all the aforementioned crimes have their root in poverty and the greed of some selfish leaders and the elite class.
In the midst of glaring poverty a token N30,000 which is not even enough to fuel my car in a month has negligently been refused to be paid to our civil servants, most of who have families to look after.
It is in this shameless situation our national legislators are factually said to be receiving N13.5million as unaccountable monthly allowances, while the majority remains unemployed in the midst of high ratio of hardship that is overwhelming the citizens. Well, we are yet to be informed about the monthly packages of our governors, ministers and other high profile government officials with their over-bloated retinue of so-called aides.
It is all part of our common patrimony stolen by the discontented elements, which Prof.Itse Sagay, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption disclosed that N1trillion was recovered. Imagine that is 1000 billion stolen by few people while N 30,000 cannot be paid to our civil servants!
However, that is not the concern of this piece; it is all about how interestingly Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has all along, silently and privately been funding the philanthropic activities of the now popular ‘’GandujeFoundation’’ which I hope and appeal to his contemporaries in government to emulate, with their legally acquired resources or even with stolen resources (apologies).
They should identify a particular area or sector, be it health, education or sponsorship and help in those directions.
The GandujeFoundation was founded some 10 years ago as a non-profit charity organization with special interest in the care, diagnosis and treatment of human eyes related problems. The Foundation has carved a niche in the area of distributing free drugs, undertaking free eye surgeries to thousands of people over the years, distributing free eye spectacles to those with vision impairment.
For instance, from 2015 to 2018, the GandujeFoundation has had 11, 000 beneficiary patients who were diagnosed with various types of glaucoma such as: Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG), Angle Closure Glaucoma (ACG) as well as diagnosing the symptoms of Cataract.
Glaucoma and Cataract are the widely most common eye ailments which lead to total blindness. The GandujeFoundation has so far distributed 19,500 free eye medicated spectacles to the same number of people with vision impairment.
Also, 15, 000 people suffering from eye-related problems have benefited from the free eye surgeries of the GandujeFoundation from 2015 to date.This include the distribution of thousands of drugs to patients.
It is also interesting to note that in 2018, the Foundation enlarged its scope of activities to include funding of educational programmes.To this end, available records have shown that the Foundation was able to construct and donate 45 classrooms which are to be used for adult education and for Islamic knowledge in 20 communities across Kano villages, as well as hiring of teachers to coach the students.
At this juncture, at the risk of elongating the various interventions of the GandujeFoundation, it is not worthy to mention the personality behind the silent achievements of the Foundation:Her Excellency, Prof. Hafsat Ganduje is the coordinator of the charity-based foundation.
To conclude this piece, may I seek the indulgence of the leadership class and their elite counterparts in the private sector to learn how to extend hands of sympathy to those who are hardly noticed -the downtrodden.
In my little way of thinking: When poverty is allowed to pester and becomes widespread, it is like violence; it is an ill-wind, it doesn’t blow any good. It destroys, diminishes, hampers growth and generates anger in the society-and who knows where its pendulum will swing to?
Bilal is M.D. Royal Publicity Publishing Company, No.8 Shendam Street, Jos. GSM: 08167989085.