Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Call him an unusual philanthropist or politician, and you would not be wrong.
Mr Evaristus Asadu, an indigene of Nru community in Nsukka Local Government area of Enugu State, isn’t yet a landlord. But the man, who is also a ward councillor in the council, recently built a three-bedroom apartment for an octogenarian childless widow in his community.
The amazing thing is, Asadu used the blocks he would have used to erect his own house for the building.
Speaking during the commissioning of the apartment, Asadu said he was moved by the deprivation, neglect and abject poverty being suffered by the widow.
Said he: “The journey to building this house started one morning when I came to condole with a bereaved family friend in this village. I overheard some women giving graphic description of the suffering of this old woman. They were discussing how the woman miraculously escaped death by the whiskers when a part of her house collapsed last year. After the condolence visit, I asked one boy to take me to the woman’s house to see things for myself.”
“When I got here, what I saw changed my plan. Initially, I was coming to see how I could fix the fallen wall. But when I came, I discovered that the house was not habitable. There and then, I decided to put up a new structure for the woman.
“Even now, I have not built my own house. I am still a tenant. It is the blocks I would have used to erect my own house that I diverted to this project. I have never met this woman before. She is not my relation and I even knew her name only recently. But I had to help to ameliorate her suffering.”
Chairman of Nsukka Local Government area, Mr. Patrick Omeje extolled the virtues of the donor.
Omeje said he was overwhelmed by the philanthropic gesture of the councillor who, according to him, had done what many could not dream of.
The chairman said: “Today, we celebrate the virtues of Mr. Asadu. He has done wonderfully well by providing shelter for a widow whom he knows cannot pay him back.
“The Bible admonishes us to provide for the poor. We may not have the resources to build this kind of house, but we can give a helping hand to people around us in our own little ways.” He said the council would henceforth begin to cater to the welfare of the widow.
Expressing his gratitude, the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Sylvanus Aruma said his people would not forget the philanthropic gesture of the councillor.
“Every citizen of this community is happy with Mr. Asadu. We will not forget your legacy. You have written your name in the sand of time and prosperity will forever remember you. We pray God to continue to bless you and multiply your sources of income. We also urge other good spirited people in the community and even beyond to remember the destitute in our midst and give them cause to smile,” the traditional ruler said.
The childless widow, Mrs. Caroline Ngwuoke, in a chat with the reporter, expressed joy at the uncommon gesture by the councillor. She prayed God to bless Mr. Asaju for his kindness.
“I don’t have anything to say other than to pray God to bless him for me,” the excited woman said. “I am a childless widow, but today, I now have a son in the person of Evaristus. He has done for me what many sons in the world today cannot do for their own blood mothers,” the woman said.
It was gathered that Mrs. Ngwuoke’s husband died few years after the Nigeria/Civil War, and ever since, she has been living in abject deprivation.