Victims of a recent accident on Lafia/Akwanga highway, including a three-year-old baby, are full of praises for Governor Al- Makura for saving their lives. The Nasarawa State governor’s penchant to save lives is legend in addition to reports that he is also in the forefront to liberate disabled persons in the country, writes correspondent, PETER AHEMBA.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 will no doubt remain indelible in the minds of some accident victims including a 3-year-old girl rescued by the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura along Lafia/Akwanga road on the fateful day.
The accident, which occurred at about 5:30 pm involving a Nyanya transit bus with registration GL 333, somersaulted and crashed into the bush around Azuba community along the Lafia/Akwanga highway. The accident left the occupants of the vehicle with varying degrees of injuries when the governor, who was on his way back to Lafia from an official trip in Abuja, in his usual magnanimity, stopped at the scene of the incident to rescue the helpless accident victims.
Touched by the critical condition of the victims, Governor Al-Makura directed some of his aides to rush the victims to the state-owned Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, DASH Lafia in his official car as he personally took the items belonging to the victims to the police station for the purposes of record and safe keep.
In what observers described as a demonstration of high sense of sympathy for humanity, the Governor sought to see for himself the condition of the victims by visiting them the following day at the Female Ward B of the hospital in company of the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Yakubu Ahmed Ashuku and other aides.
At the hospital, he further promised to take care of other needs of the patients apart from the hospital bills.
On reaching the hospital, this paper observed that the Governor did not restrict his attention to the injured persons he had brought to the hospital as his visit turned out to be a blessing to other patients who were already admitted in the hospital days before his visit. He made a cash donation of the sum of three hundred thousand naira (N300, 000.00) to other patients in the ward and directed the medical personnel on duty and the hospital management to ensure that a 6-month old baby who was among the accident victims was given the desired attention.
He explained that the gesture was borne out of the concern for the survival of mankind, noting that he was deeply touched by the plights of the victims when he arrived the scene of the accident hence his decision to rescue them and fully settle their medical bills. He attributed the accident to impatience on the part of drivers, calling on road users to have a change of attitude to avoid unnecessary road crashes.
During the visit, the Governor was led to the Female Ward by the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Ahmed Ashuku who told him that three out of the victims that sustained fracture and injuries were treated and ready for discharge. He however explained that a surgery was to be carried out on the six-month old baby on her head even as he confirmed that both the mother and the baby were responding to treatment and in stable condition.
One of the victims and father to the infant, Mr. Paul Ageda, who was short of words to express his appreciation, broke down in tears and commended the Governor for his kind gesture, praying God to reward him abundantly.
“I lack words to express my heartfelt appreciation to the God-sent Governor for his kind gesture. He conveyed us in his official vehicle to the hospital and if not for him, only God knows how we would have ended at the scene of the incident.”
Mr. Ageda further said, “The Governor has demonstrated his love and concern for the well being of the common man in the society. It is surprising that a state governor would stop his convey to rescue accident victims; people he did not even know where they come from. Only God will reward the governor for his kind gesture.”
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital had confirmed to Nigerian Pilot Sunday that the Governor’s gesture was not the first of its kind as Al-Makura who is popularly referred to as “Gwamna Talakawa” in Hausa language, meaning Governor of the masses had extended such gestures to patients in the hospital on several occasions.
Dr. Ashuku said, “Most times in his (Al-Makura) usual way of ensuring the right thing is done at all times, pays unscheduled visits to the hospital and each time he comes he takes responsibility of medical bills of some patience among other forms of assistance even to the hospital management and so you will agree with me that the Governor has distinguished himself in the service to humanity.”
Corroborating the views of the CMD, Special Assistant (SA) to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Ahmed Tukur, averred that the gesture demonstrated by the governor was not surprising as it was his usual magnanimity, having demonstrated similar assistance to the downtrodden in the society on several occasions.
“You will recall that just recently my boss picked an abandoned little disabled child in one of the streets of Lafia and offered to ensure his upkeep and sponsor his education from Primary to whatever level he might want to attain, in addition to a cash donation to the boy to take care of his immediate needs.”
Tukur also recalled that in practical demonstration of Governor Al-Makura’s concern for the well-being of the masses, the number one citizen of the state had hosted people living with disability in Nasarawa during fast breaking, early in his first tenure and has sustained such gesture.
According to him the implementation of policies and programmes that has direct bearing to the lives of the common man by the state government has further attested to the concern he has for the masses, pointing out that the peaceful protest led by the Governor to the National Assembly, demanding quick passage of the Disability Bill about two years ago was one out of the many initiatives of the Governor aimed at addressing the plights of the downtrodden.
The Nigerian Pilot Sunday recalled that perhaps it was in the quest for improved welfare for the downtrodden in the society that re-echoed his call on the National Assembly to pass into law the Disability Bill pending before it without further delay to give the people living with disabilities, PLWDs a sense of belonging.
The Governor had in a key note address delivered at the first International Conference on Disabilities with the theme `Creating an Inclusive Society for All’ at the civic center in Lagos recently, maintained that it was in the best interest of any country that all her citizens have a fair and equitable opportunity for a better future.
He insisted that public policies must be in tune with present realities and crafted to create enabling environment to make it easy for the disabled to have free education, tax incentives and social security, adding that such policies must ensure full participation of PLWDs by respecting their needs and integrating their concerns in the larger fabric of the society.
He explained that public policies must show that all human beings are equal by making it a policy of state to engage the disabled as a community and eliminate “the disability line” through vigorous government and civic leadership.
Analysts are therefore of the view that if leaders at all levels would emulate the likes of Governor Al-Makura by imbibing the spirit of self sacrifice for the betterment of other members of the society especially the less privileged, the gesture would go a long way in addressing the ills in the society.