A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal
– Steve Maraboli, in Life Truth and Being Free
The respected Steve Maraboli probably had people like Senator Uba Sani of Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone in mind when he crafted the above quote. This firebrand lawmaker, a one-time fiery civil rights activist and now Chairman of Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions stands out as elected representative with unrivalled determination to positively touch lives. He has made his enviable mark in support of the underprivileged for healthcare delivery, raising the bar of education for the brilliant poor and orphans through scholarship offers (including mostly voluntary efforts and even predate his election as Senator).
Though I cannot lay claim to having the accurate number of widows or orphans whose lives Senator Uba Sani has positively touched so far, permit me however, to take just two of the latest instances, as planks for my analysis.
This year, the Senator took many by surprise, when he feted 800 orphans from four different orphanage homes in Kaduna State. This gesture, according to major national dailies that covered the event, was part the line-up of activities marking the lawmaker’s 50th birthday. He chose to uniquely use his pet project – the Uba Sani Foundation to make this wonderful impact.
The four beneficiaries, according reports, were Ummu Atyam Orphanage Home situated at Unguwan Dosa, Adonai Orphanage Home, located at Gonin Gora
and Al-Ihsan Orphanage situated in Nassarawa.
Moved by this remarkable effort, the management of the four orphanages showered encomiums on Senator Uba Sani for the gesture, which they admitted came without their prior knowledge. They variously described the effort as one of its kind, admonishing other well-to-do members of the society to borrow a leaf from the lawmaker’s rare display of compassion.
What seems to be the driving force behind Senator Uba Sani’s love for orphans and widows is his deep sense of compassion. He obviously shares the view of famous literary icon, John Bunyan – who once said helping others without expectation of any reward from them is the true sign of compassion. In Bunyan’s words: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you”. It logically follows that this lawmaker is giving his best shot to uplifting the underprivileged for Devine reward and for history and posterity to judge him as a citizen whose worthy actions have touched lives for the better. This layer of his impact reminds me of John Holmes, who noted that there is nothing more heartwarming than uplifting the people at the lowest rung of the ladder. Hear John Holmes: ” There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and uplifting people up”.
A heartwarming effort of Senator Uba Sani was how he made another surprising show of compassion during the Quranic graduation ceremony of Daru Sigaril Huffaz in Kaduna. After donating for the administrative and financial upgrade of this school, the lawmaker instituted a N1.8million Annual Scholarship scheme for students of the same school till their eventual graduation.
In almost every community within Kaduna Central that orphans abound, you will find boreholes that supply badly-needed water to those communities and solar-powered street lights. Like Martin Tupper, Senator Uba Sani has remained a darling to Kaduna’s orphans.
Associates very close to the lawmaker have on different occasions told me that the man’s philanthropic gesture, as distinct to his constituency projects, has been on for nearly a decade. The media bombarded its audience with its reports of Uba Sani’s passion for spending to make the poor happy, first when he emerged Governor Nasir Elrufai’s Special Adviser Political and InterGovernmental Affairs. And In-between his fight to strengthen the ruling party at that time (which some members tried to break into pieces unsuccessfully), he still worked tirelessly to help the poor. He generated employment opportunities. He also has had special projects for the orphans at that time, though I learnt the media missed out on a while lot that time.
Like Alex Sans De Levi, Senator Uba Sani’s sacrifice for both the poor and orphans are in two dimensions: the ones recorded by the media and the ones he achieved quietly.
I must therefore confess, that the foregoing references about his pro- poor projects are by no means accurate. I was able to only lay fingers on media records of some 2,000 or more orphans in four Orphanages and the other 800 he fed to mark his birthday when he clocked 50. I’m sure his Constituency officials can come up with a more comprehensive list of both beneficiaries, with their classification into widows, orphans and children living in the villages of Kaduna Central. And this may be followed by another comprehensive list of exceptionally-intelligent young boys and girls from poor homes whose WAEC, NECO examination fees, according to major national dailies he has voluntarily paid and approved scholarship for their tertiary education.
It is unmistakable that this lawmaker has been running a one-man squad against poverty for quite long time. He is on record to have made many legislative moves specifically to address the hardship confronting the poor in our midst. The long and short of it all is that beyond his vicious war on poverty and being a darling of the orphans, he has carved a place for himself in the annals of this nation’s history as a democrat who contributed immensely to the exit of the military from the nation’s democratic space, for which the citizenry is currently breathing an air of freedom from unbridled dictatorship.
*Dambatta, a veteran Journalist wrote from Kaduna and can be reached on [email protected]*