By Job Osazuwa
No fewer than 40 indigent members of Ifelagba Community Development Association (CDA) in Lafenwa/Itele axis of Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area (LGA) in Ogun State had good reason to smile last Christmas as they received gifts courtesy of Friends of Adewale Banjo Initiative.
The beneficiaries, including widows, elderly and the less-privileged, were presented with foodstuffs.
Seven elderly, including four men and three women, in addition to their gifts, were also, each presented with clothing material. Also, a sick member was presented with a token of N10, 000 cash in addition to his gift.
The brain behind the initiative, the CDA Chairman, Adewale Banjo, said he embarked on raising fund from his friends to power the project.
According to him, the best time to show his people love was during the birth of Jesus Christ.
Banjo said he has always wanted to give back to his immediate community, but couldn’t due to financial constraint. He said he was fulfilled seeing how the donated items uplifted the beneficiaries. He added that it gladdened his heart as the Joy of Christmas was spread to the people of the community through the gifts.
While soliciting fund from his friends, Banjo stated hunger was real everywhere in Nigeria, including his community.
He said in order to make the joy of the season go round; the group was able to identify some families within the community “to extend our love, through a token, no matter how little or small, to them.”
Banjo said: “I came to this conclusion having presided on the affairs of the community for about two and half years as the chairman. Being the chairman opened my eyes because I was able to see the suffering that many community members are passing through. Many are just struggling to survive and cannot pay their bills which keep piling up by the day.
“This reality of life of how some people live in a community, where a larger number of residents are living below poverty level, tug at my emotion and I decided to reach out to them this Christmas.
“The reason I’m reaching out to my friends, on the platform of Friends of Adewale Banjo Initiative, home and in the Diaspora, for support, that together, we can spread the joy of Christmas and during other festivities to this set of people.
“I, therefore, thank Almighty God for the success of the programme.
May His name be blessed forever. Also, I want to appreciate all the donors, including, majorly my classmates from Ijebu Ode Grammar School (JOGS 7681 set) and my course mate from Mass Communication Department of Ogun State Polytechnic, Abeokuta (AMACOS 91 set), who donated generously to ensure we have a very good outing.
“My prayer is that God, in His mercy, will continue to bless you andyour families. Whatever you lay your hands upon shall prosper. None of you will ever lack any good things of life.
“As you have responded to my clarion call without any prodding tospread the joy of Christmas to the widows, elderly, senior citizens and the less privileged in my community, Ifelagba CDA, so also God Almighty with spread His everlasting joy into your lives and that of your entire families. As you have honoured me, so also God will honour you all in Jesus name.”
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Pa. Samuel Olatunde and Mrs. Modupe Oyewole, thanked their benefactors, saying the gifts came to them as a surprise. They prayed that God should continue to bless the donors and keep their family members in good health and prosperity.