For vulnerable persons especially widows, orphans and the disabled living in Wukari local government area of Taraba state, it was a moment of pure emotional outburst as a leading philanthropist in the state Chief David Sabo Kente hosts them to a grand party as part of activities to mark his 56th birthday.
Kente, a Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Commissioner at the North East Development Commission (NEDC), the decision was give the people a sense of belonging and reassurance that they are loved and valued.
Speaking during the party which held at the Elim Top Suites Wukari, Kente noted that people were so caught up in pursuing political ambitions and generally tackling life challenges that the vulnerable are often forgotten and relegated to the background.
“I am happy to host these special members of our community on this special day of my life. Nobody wants to be an orphan, a widow or disabled. These are conditions that any of us could found ourselves in. Unfortunately, we turn to pay little attention to this set of persons in our midst. We are all guilty. It is however very important that we make deliberate efforts to give them hope, show them love and give them that sense of belonging that tells them you also count and your happiness matters”.
Kente who decried the state of insecurity in the country especially the continued abduction of school children in the North said that this could spell doom for the nation’s future if not urgently addressed by ensuring social justice.
According to Kente, “what we are witnessing now is just the delivery from decades long pregnancy. Over the years, our leaders chose to promote selfish interests over national interests. They chose to achieve their political ambitions against all costs, not to serve but to amass wealth for themselves and their families. In the course of this, they have explored our religious and ethnic differences and have created the kind of disunity that now threatens our very existence as a nation. That is also the reason for this terrible levels of poverty among our people.
“Today, Nigeria is on a precipice and it will take divine intervention and conscious efforts on our part to avert a major catastrophe. In the next dispensation, the people must rise to chose leaders with national outlook and interest, leaders, who would promote national interests and uphold justice, equity and fairness.
“Education is the bedrock of every nation and the threat to our education system by this continued abduction of school children is a threat to national sustainability. We have foreigners who are into organized crimes. This is one of the worst this things that has happened to Nigeria. We at the North East Development Commission (NEDC) are doing our best to stop the drop out of children from school as a result of insurgency, banditry, militancy or any other guise, but this is a collective responsibility and we all must key into it”.
“Community policing, like other suggestions, is a good idea in tackling insecurity but the traditional institutions need to be given more defined and authoritative roles backed by the constitution to perform in their domains if any kind of community policing efforts is to achieve any meaningful result. The traditional institutions in Nigeria must be given a prominent role for us to address insecurity”.
Some of the beneficiaries who bared their minds noted in emotions laden voices that they had not expected such a gesture especially at a time that politicking had also not started.
According to 52 year old widow and mother of seven Mrs Sarah Nyajon “it takes only a man with the heart of gold to remember people like us and to decide to host us to a party. Look at all the big men that are well dressed, he ignored all of them and even told them that his evening was just to be with us. I feel loved and happy for the first time since my husband’s death thirteen years ago. Usually, it is during campaign that people remember us to share salt for us. This is different”.
Thirty year old Mark has been on a wheel chair all his life and feels elated to share a meal with the famous philanthropist.
“I don’t usually cry but I cried today when he came to sit and eat with me on the same table. I can’t believe it. In the past, we have received gifts through our union from him but this is the first time that someone in his position is hosting us and even interacting with us as if he was a part of us. I feel so happy and pray that God will bless him a lot” Mark said.