Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, recently distributed gift items to orphans and people living with disabilities in Abuja. CALEB ONWE reports
fortnight ago, the Gwako Orphanage Home, located about two kilometres away from the Giri-Airport road Inter-change, along the ever busy Zuba-Gwagwalada expressway, in the Federal Capital Territory, had some electrifying joyous moments.
Ordinarily, the location of the home does not give the children the opportunity of enjoying the social life of the community. The celebration, which was brought into their premises was indeed a rare opportunity that undoubtedly left some memorable impression on these less privileged children.
The only circuit breaker to the children’s joy and celebration was the observation of the guidelines on social distancing and other health and safety protocols as a result of COVID19 pandemic.
Ostensibly, two enemies that limited the freedom of these kids, that they may never forget in their lives were the frequent social distancing and the facemasks measures, which were religiously enforced at the home.
Even though, these new normal created mixed feelings among the children, the sight of all the gifts provided for them, pumped more adrenalin into their jubilation.
Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, was the one behind the occasion. She clocked the golden age and chose to celebrate the milestone with the less privileged members of the society.
She moved members of her family, friends and well wishers to the orphanage home as part of activities to mark her golden jubilee. It was obviously a way to spread the joy and inspire the children to also learn how to love others.
Inside Abuja observed that the Minister’s motherhood empathy was momentarily stirred by the children’s censored jubilant mood, but she managed to rein in her emotions.
But for the social distancing consciousness, the Minister, who was elated that her golden jubilee celebration afforded her the opportunity to interface with the downtrodden of the society, would have displayed her dancing skills.
Aliyu, who felt exhilarated in the midst of the joyous children, said she would have loved to gather all the less privileged citizens within the FCT to share in her joy, but for the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Inside Abuja gathered that she picked one child from 65 orphanage homes across the six Area Councils of Abuja, who converged at the Gwako Home to receive some gifts that will be transmitted to their various orphanages.
Aliyu, while expressing delight that workers at the orphanages have not betrayed the trust reposed on them by the government and society in providing a homely environment for the children, also urged all wealthy members of the society to support the less privileged citizens.
The Minister charged the children thus: “I want to tell you that you will grow up to 50 years and beyond by God’s grace. You are future leaders of this nation. Among you are House of Representatives Members, Senators, Ministers, Governors, even President of this country. I say this in the presence of God today that among you, we have presidents, governors and ministers of tomorrow”.
The Minister, who was accompanied to the orphanage home by her husband, Alhaji Tijjani Aliyu and the wife of the FCT Permanent Secretary, Lady Pamela Ohaa, also moved the celebration train the Colony of People Living With Disability (PLWD) in Karamajiji.
At the colony, many physically challenged people, who are there lived in absolute squalour and abject poverty, leapt up with joy as the Minister and her entourage arrived the scene.
Inside Abuja observed that the lame among them were almost abandoning their clutches and other walking aids in excitement when they sighted the 20 wheelchairs the minister had brought as gifts to them.
Aliyu noted that her greatest joy was using her privileged position to better the lots of orphans and the less privileged in the society .Her husband, Alhaji Tijjani Aliyu, who also displayed enormous love and empathy for the children, equally used the occasion to appeal to the male folk to support their wives in any career they have chosen.
“I want to use this opportunity to send a very powerful message to my male folks that a woman you have in your house is not a piece of luggage, but a partner that must be encouraged to aspire even beyond yourself because at the end of the day, we do not know who God will call first in this partnership.”
Vice President, Coalition of Orphanage and Children Homes in Nigeria ( COCHIN), Mr. Kuta Gabriel, was on ground to ensure that the 65 Orphanage Homes represented got the gifts meant for them.
Gabriel assured the Minister that the donated food items which included packs of indomie noodles, spaghetti, and assorted drinks and beverages, will be delivered to the appropriate destination, and will be used for the upkeep of the children.