John Shiklam writes on the excitement that trailed the presentation of 30 wheel chairs to the physically-challenged people in Kaduna by Total Nigeria Plc during the recent celebration of World Disability Day
Since he was born over 30 years ago, Joseph Musa has been crawling on the grown. He lost his legs to the polio virus and had to accept his fate. Like most people who are physically challenged, movement from one point to the other had been his greatest challenges, as he rolls on the ground in a desperate attempt to move from one place to the other.
Luck however smiled on him during the recent celebration of the World Disability Day. He was given a wheel chair along with many other of his colleagues by Total Nigeria Plc. Musa who was so elated about the wheel chair could only thank God for what the company had done to him. “You can see my condition.
My situation is so chronic that I cannot crawl; I roll on the ground to move from one place to the other every day. This wheel chair is God sent, I am very happy and I pray that God will continue to enrich them” he added during the presentation of the 30 Wheel Chairs at the Kakuri Plant of the company in Kaduna.
Several of Musa’s physically challenged colleagues who spoke in an interview with THISDAY were equally excited with what some of them described as their own “limousines.” One of the beneficiaries, Sani Tanko said he never dreamt he could afford a Wheel Chair, adding he was surprised when he was informed of the gift.
Tanko said who said he just graduated from the Kakuri Rehabilitation Centre, said the Wheel chair will greatly enhance his movement for
his livelihood. “I pray that God will continue to uplift them and help them. I pray too that other companies will emulate them by coming to assist more people who are physically challenged. I attended the Kakuri Rehabilitation Training Centre where I learned tailoring.
Lami Sunday is also another physically challenged person whose condition evoked emotion as she rolled on the ground to the
event. Barely without legs and hands has life been easy for her. She beamed with smiles as she was assisted to climb the Wheel Chair, overwhelmed with excitement, the 25 years lady simply said God has answered her prayers.
One of the most interesting people during the occasion was Awal Mohammed Rabiu (popularly known as Comrade), though physically challenged has two wives and two children. His arrival added fun to the event as shouts of Comrade rent the air as he crawled into the venue of the presentation.
Rabiu exudes so much confidence in himself, displaying the character of a comrade. He too, attended the Kakuri Rehabilitation Training Centre where he learns how to wield. His wives are also physically challenged. He said in spite of his disability, he has never beg in his life and he has been fending for his two wives and children.
“I joined the association for the physically challenged people in Kaduna state and I attended the Kakuri Rehabilitation Centre to learn wielding. That is what I have been doing to take care of my family. “We are grateful to total for their kind gesture and we will continue to pray for their success” he said.
Rabiu also called on the Kaduna state government to assist the physically challenged people by providing those with skills with some soft loans to start their businesses.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Kaduna state Chairman of the association of the Disabled and Physically Challenged People, Mallam Riwan Mohammed Abdullahi applauded the presentation of the wheel chairs to his members saying it will go a long way in facilitating their movement from one point to the other.
According to him, “one of the greatest challenges we faced as people who are physically challenge is mobility. By providing these wheel
chairs to us, it will go a long way in facilitating our movement to school, market and to our places of business. So the wheel chairs will greatly ease our movement. I appeal to other companies to emulate Total
Nigeria Plc by assisting people with disability. Community leaders from Kakuri and Makera areas who attended the ceremony applauded the company for living up to its social responsibility by not only providing wheel chairs to the physically challenged but for empowering unemployed youths in the area.
In an interview with THISDAY shortly after the occasion, the District Head of Kakuri, Alhaji Shehu Tijani, said so far, the company has been the only one assisting his community a lot. “So far so good, around this industrial area, it is only total that has been assisting us. They have not only provided our physically challenged brothers and sisters with wheel chairs, but they have established a skill acquisition centre where our children who are unemployed are trained. “ After training them, they give them some capital and provided some working tools like computers, tailoring machines and they give them money to pay for shops for two years to start a business. The company is helping the youths to start business in wielding, carpentry, Hair Dressing and so many other trades.
“Total has helped our community so much and there is nothing that we can say than to thank them and may God continue to help them.
Also in his comment, the District head of Makera, Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf, noted the company’s contributions in providing skills to unemployed youths. “Just like what my colleague (the District Head of Kakuri) said, our communities have benefited so much from Total Nigeria Plc, especially in the area of providing training unemployed youths in skill acquisition and we commend the company for that” he said.
According to him, the idea of purchasing wheel chairs for the physically challenged people was initiated by a young boy sometimes last year when the company donated HIV kits at one of its Filling Stations at Ungwan Rimi area of Kaduna. “It was after the occasion that one of small boy, who is physically challenged, came to me pleading that he needs a wheel chair. I promptly called the attention of the manager of Total and I showed them the small boy and the manager assured that they will do something. After sometime, they called me and instead of one wheel chair, they have provided 30 wheel chairs. “It is unfortunate that the small boy travelled but they have kept one for him. I wish he was here so that those who have benefitted can see the initiator. “We are grateful to the company for discharging
its corporate social responsibility to this community.
We are appealing to other companies to emulate Total by assisting our communities because government alone cannot provide all of our needs. Total has done well and we are praying for their prosperity” the district head said.