The atmosphere was electrifying, there were lots of excitements in the air. Even the roof tops were not left out as spectators in the neighbourhood of Jahi Village came out in droves to be part of the Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) taken to the over 200,000 members of the com- munity. It was the inauguration of a rural health initiative brought to the community as part of the celebration of fifty years of the existence of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Some royal fathers were in attendance. Men, women and youths were there in their traditional attires and apparels. Aisha Buhari First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari had cause to grace the occasion because she was the donor of a Mobile Clinic meant to deliver health care services to the rural dwellers who lack access to healthcare facilities. Before her arrival, guests, officials and the entire crowd had been treated to a high hip breaking Gbagi women cultural dance that left everyone calling for more. Shortly after Mrs. Buhari arrived the NYSC Band took their turn to entertain the First Lady but this did not move her.
As the Gbagi women graced the pitch with their jaw dropping dance laced with high lyrics she stood up from her seat and joined them in celebration of what later turned out to be a cultural festival of sort. The first Lady later praised the dancers saying she would later perfect the act which alone can be a form of exercise. Jahi community Despite being located in the heart of the Federal Capital Territory, Jahi Village does not have an hospi- tal, it also lacks good roads and pipe borne water. Secretary of the Ccmmunity, Mr. Saliu Adamu, said that the Gbagi people have been living in their cur- rent location for many many years. “We moved from the rocks and for- est to this place for over 60 years. Some of our grandfathers were born here and we have no other place to go. Like when people are travelling home for Christmas and Eid-el- Fitri activities, we normally celebrate here because we don’t have any other places, to call our home” he explained. He however called on the FCT and Federal governments to come to their aid by providing good road networks, pipe borne water, hospi- tals and more classrooms for our children. “Water is life, we don’t have it in Jahi Village.
If you look at it, we spend nothing less than N800 to N1000 a day to buy water from the Truck pushers. And when elections come we vote. We vote 100 per cent. . So what gov- ernment is expected to do is to repli- cate this through the infrastructure in our community. The roads are gallop, gallop, before you enter Jahi your car will get damaged because of the bad roads. He also said nobody can move or relocate them away from their pres- ent location as it is being rumoured. “The place is owned by our great grand parents. The development of FCT met us here. This is our native land where our forefathers were born and also we too were born. Other people have their own states. So why should you come and relocate us. No way. Even If they drive us, people who will come and take over the place are human beings, we are also human beings. He said that there was no division in the community, adding that the people are detribalised and have been living together with many other tribes. “We do everything together whether you are Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo. The hospital On the hospital, he said that last month, the Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council, Mr Micah Y. Jiba came and commissioned one but not yet functional.
He urged the NYSC to sustain the laudable HIRD Programme and add- ed that with the visit of the first Lady life will come to Jahi community. Speaking at the event, Aisha ex- pressed satisfaction with NYSC’s gi- ant strides in the provision of health care services to Nigerians. She said the launch of a Medical Outreach under the NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) Programme was commendable. “I have noted with great satisfac- tion, the giant strides of the Scheme through the provision of health care to Nigerians. “The introduction of the HIRD programme has largely been suc- cessful. As part of my Office’s appreciation, the donation of a well-equipped mobile clinic to the Scheme is to enhance the success of the Corps Medical team. I am sure that this facility would continuous- ly assist in this respect. “I am optimistic that the com- memoration of the five decades of NYSC’s existence, couple with the introduction of the HIRD outreach, will further validate the argument for the continued relevance of the Scheme,” the First Lady said. While identifying and felicitating with the NYSC on this feat, Aisha Buhari called on all well-meaning Nigerians and partners to support the activities of Corps Members to help boost the economy.
“Mr President is particularly passionate about the NYSC. His sup- port for the Scheme is driven by his belief in one Nigeria, and, sincere appreciation of the contributions of these young men and women. To this effect, the First Family always treat Corps Members serving in Daura, Katsina State, to Presiden- tial reception during Sallah festivi- ties. It is my honour and privilege to declare this special HIRD week open,” she said. NYSC @ 50 Earlier, the Director General, NYSC, Brigadier General YD Ahmed in his address at the event said, since its inception 50 years ago, the NYSC has long been a cata- lyst of socio-cultural, political and economic development. He also noted that, so far, over NYSC celebrates golden jubilee with health outreach three million Nigerians have ben- efitted from this initiative. Like other developing countries, the DG stated, Nigeria faces chal- lenges in its health sector, but con- certed efforts are being made by various stakeholders, including the NYSC, with a view to making the system more functional. HIRD policy “As a Scheme that has continued to expand its frontiers in the deliv- ery of services to Nigerians, NYSC launched its Health Initiative for Ru- ral Dwellers (HIRD) programme in 2014. It is a platform through which Corps medical personnel comprising Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses, and Dentists, amongst others, provide free and quality health care for the people, especially the rural poor. “I am pleased to report that, so far, over three million Nigerians have benefitted from this initiative. The outreach being flagged-off today comes just five weeks after a simi- lar one we conducted at the IDP Cen- tre, Malaysia Garden, Abuja, where people came out in large numbers to receive free treatment for various medical conditions. We made other special interventions such as the administration of vaccines, sensi- tization of the community on HIV/ AIDS prevention and sanitation, among others. “It is gratifying to note that Her Excellency, the First Lady, has shown more than a passing interest in the success of the HIRD. We are still relishing her benevolence in donat- ing this high-capacity ultra-modern mobile clinic that is deployed here today. I am pleased to report that the facility, which was handed over to the Scheme a year ago, has greatly enhanced the efficiency of our health interventions,” he said.