The Emmanuel Umohinyang Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, recently marked its 10th anniversary on December 28, which afforded it another opportunity to provide succour to the poor and less privileged
Roll out the drums, weave the garlands of gold was the song on lips of many as Emmanuel Umohinyang Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, marked its 10th anniversary on December 23, 2018.
A day before, signs that something spectacular was in the offing was evident as the Maryland area of Lagos especially the Adebayo Dejonwo Estate neighbourhood was upbeat with activities leading to the D-day.
Within and around the environment, people waited eagerly to see how things would eventually turn out. This was not helped by an increase in vehicular traffic, as visitors to the environment increased human and vehicular traffic.
The upsurge was not unconnected with the fact that many visitors from outside Lagos including Abuja came to be part of the epoch making event and celebrate with Umohinyang, who was also celebrating his birthday.
Though it was a Sunday, and the event was due to start by 2pm, beneficiaries of the event which marked the foundation’s 10th anniversary had started arriving the Bayo Dejonwo Estate long before.
Like someone observed, the Emmanuel Umohinyang Foundation literally brought down the wall between the rich and the poor by coming in as a leveller right from the estate entrance into the highbrow estate, as security officials courteously screened visitors before allowing them in.
Though they were complemented by regular policemen, it was more than clear that the organisers had far more than they bargained for in terms of visitors. This may not be unconnected with the fact that the foundation upped its ante in terms of what it gave out as gift items to mark the anniversary.
And like Jacob in the Bible who said he would not go until he was blessed by the angel, some women pointedly showed that though they were not invited officially, they were there to receive.
At the event ground, a very conspicuous part was devoted to stocking several gift items including about 2,000 bags of rice, different kinds of musical equipment, air conditioning units, chairs and many more.
This was even as over 20 cows had been slaughtered for distribution for Christmas and entertainment among the people. There were also millions of 60 leaves exercise books and higher education notes promoting the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and supporting the police.
This was not surprising as Umohiyang, a lawyer is a die-hard supporter of the president for whom the Re-elect Buhari Movement, wwhich he leads has so far registered over 8million members for Buhari’s re-election.
Curiously, the foundation left many, especially church with jaws widely open for long as they never imagined the surprise waiting for them. This was because without their knowledge, the foundation had procured items such as musical instruments and chairs, which some of them lacked.
Some of these churches included The Lutheran Church of Nigeria, Christ Embassy and The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, who was represented at the event by Usman Alilu lauded the foundation for sparing a thought for the less privileged in the society. Alilu who is younger brother to the First Lady, who was out of the country, tasked well-to-do Nigerians on the virtues of sharing.
He said: “The First Lady is always happy sharing with the less privileged and this is what Barrister Umohiyang is emulating. The First Lady is happy with what he is doing and wishes him well.”
AAs the announcement of cutting of the birthday cake was announced, a visually impaired man, Mr. Olusola Ofoyetan pleaded to be allowed to speak. Ofoyetan who had all along showed excitement by cracking jokes severally where he sat on the front row said “Today, all of us are rejoicing with Barrister Emmanuel, we are happy that he is putting smiles on our faces again at this time. We are happy to see you sir and we are happy to be here.”
This was even as he prayed for Umohiyang and his foundation for more successes in the years ahead.
More torrential prayers came from Pastor Charles Igbafe of Christ Embassy, Lagos Mainland who also thanked the foundation for sparing a thought for the needy.
According to him, Umohiyang is a member of the church family and Christ Embassy is happy with what he is doing.
For Mr. Nkem Itor of Lutheran Church, joy was boldly written all over him as he assisted his wife in ferrying items donated by the foundation.
He said: “Christianity is love. What you are seeing here today, is a demonstration of the love of God. Barrister Umohiyang has used his resources for the betterment of people’s lives, so I am happy. You can see smiles on the faces of most people here today because they have something to keep body and soul together this season.”
As dining and wining went on into the wee hours of the day, even though those who tried their luck to see whether they could get something after the documented 400 beneficiaries went home happy, as the foundation was gracious to accommodate them.
Perhaps, the happiest were hundreds of widows whose children were given scholarship to further their education as they could not hide their excitement, even as Umohiyang’s wife, Esther was all over the place to ensure all went well.
Umohiyang told journalists that “in my place, a man cannot be said to be serving God without serving people around him. Prophet T.B. Joshua also said when we give, it makes us like God who gives to everybody, yet collects from no one.
“You will be shocked to see the impact the foundation of President Buhari, Katsina Foundation has made so far in Kastina State even with his meagre salary as a soldier, and even when he retired. His deep seated love for the downtrodden speaks volume.
“If you also look at future assured programme of the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, it is a source of inspiration. “Look at the medical facility the foundation built in Yola, yet this is a woman who does not get subvention from anywhere. It means the office can be better than it was in the past. Her deep passion for widows and the needy is very commendable. “I am always happy when I am in a position to give. It makes me so happy.” he concluded.