For Useni Abubakar, the vicissitude of life are challenging and compelling. Hence in his case, his predicament appears more of a blessing that a curse, writes correspondent, Peter Ahamba.
Like it is naturally a joyful moment when a new baby is given birth to in a family, so it was to the family of Mr. & Mrs. Abubakar of Ashangwa community in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa state when Mrs. Abubakar gave birth to her first male child, Useni Abubakar. He was said to be in a very sound healthy condition.
But after about two years of his birth, the joyous moment brought about by the birth of the 9-year-old Useni who now lives with disability was soared following a confirmed polio virus that eventually resulted to his present condition as a disabled child. His condition according to family sources defied every medical effort made by his parents to ensure his recovery from the ailment.
Findings by Nigerian Pilot Sunday revealed that the communal clashes that engulfed some parts of the state in recent past with Useni’s village, Anshagwa as one of the affected communities had further caused untold hardship to the disable 9-year-old boy and his parents as the whole village was ransacked and completely destroyed by the attackers, living his parents and other inhabitants of the community displaced even though Useni’s parents were said to have later returned to the village after the restoration of peace in the area.
However, the little boy, being a disable person could not be taken along to the village by his parents for fear of possible renewed attack thereby living him at the mercy of God.
In what could best be described as a manifestation of destiny, respite came the way of Useni and the entire family when the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, in his usual magnanimity on sighting the 9-year-old disable child at a street in Lafia, the capital of the state, decided to stop over to interact with him and eventually came to his rescue.
The Governor, who pointed out that he neither knew Useni nor any of his relations, said he was deeply touched by Useni’s condition when he saw him struggling without a tricycle to move around hence his decision to come to his assistance.
“It is in my character and it is also a policy of my administration to see that the common man on the street that has no body to cater for him lives happily like every other person in the society. Such people must be shown love in order for them to feel a sense of belonging”
The Governor shortly after his interaction with the boy, made a cash donation of the sum of Fifty thousand naira (N50, 000.00) to take care of his immediate needs and directed that a tricycle be given to the boy immediately (which was so given) to aid his movement from one point to another just as he promised to take full responsibility of not only his up-keep but to also sponsor his education from Primary to whatever level the 9-year-old Useni might want to attain educationally.
The exemplary show of magnanimity came as a surprise to Useni’s parents and his relations who never dreamt that the hitherto neglected child could turn out one day to be a source of joy to the family.
Useni’s father, Mallam Abubakar who spoke in an interview with this paper, few days after the Governor’s gesture amidst tears of joy, said he was appreciative not only for the kind gesture of the Governor to his disable son and the family but also for the fact that he has lived to see such a surprising thing for the first time in his life, saying, “God is wonderful”.
“I could not believe the story when I heard the cheering news on air that our amiable Governor had donated such an amount of money (N50, 000.00) to my disable son in addition to several other gifts and mouth watering promises. Where could I have afforded such an amount of money when it is extremely difficult for us to even feed as a family? Abubakar wondered.
“When I first heard the news, I thought it was not my own Useni, I had to listen again to the Hausa version of the news before I finally got it clear that it was my Useni, coupled with the communication from other relations who phoned to congratulate me for what I consider as the manifestation of God’s hand in the life of this innocent child and indeed, my entire family”. Abubakar revealed.
Perhaps in keeping with his commitment to take full responsibility of Useni’s up-keep, Governor Al-Makura, in company of some top government officials of the state, last Saturday, paid a surprise visit to the disable Useni at Akurba village where he currently lives with his aunty. During the visit, the Governor donated a Hilux load of food, mattresses and other items worth hundreds of thousands to Useni and the entire family.
Al-Makura who was received during the visit by the District Head of Akurba community amidst a jubilant crowd including other traditional title holders, told the people that he was in the area to see his newly found friend (referring to Useni) and to donate some food items to him and his family in the spirit of the Ramadan fast.
During the visit, the Governor reaffirmed his commitment to assisting the less-privileged child especially in the area of education, pointing out that he had donated a tricycle to enhance his movement.
“I am here today to say hi to Useni my friend and to also interact with his parents. Useni is my very good friend right from the day I came in contact with him. By the grace of the Almighty Allah, this friendship will continue until death do us part. He will from time to time be going to my private residence to spend his weekends”. Al-Makura maintained.
The Governor also announced during the visit that in the spirit of the friendship, Akurba, the Useni’s host community which had been in total darkness for a long time as a result of lack of power supply would have their light restored within seven days, a pronouncement which further demonstrated that Useni’s disability status has become a blessing not only to him, his immediate family but also to an entire community.
An aunty to the disable child, Salamatu Yahaya who described Governor Al-Makura as a God-sent Messiah to the family, thanked the number one citizen of the state for the kind gesture, praying God to reward the Governor abundantly.
“We almost lost hope as to the future of Useni. He suffered right from childhood to this moment but today God is using our Governor to do something great in him. Only God can reward Governor Al-Makura. May Allah grant the Governor his heart desires” Salamatu Abubakar prayed.
With Useni’s heart now full of joy and that of the entire family including the succour (restoration of power supply) to Akurba community which observers believe would enhance socio-economic activities in the locality, the 9-year-old Useni’s disability has no doubt become a blessing.