…says Govt alone can’t do it all :
It may sound strange and unusual when over the years, a Kaduna based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) had ensured peaceful co-existence among the diverse people of Kaduna State through donation of bore-holes, VIP toilets facilities as well as giving skill acquisition training programme in various less privileged communities in the State.
Ironically, the motto of the foundation is, “Government alone cannot do it all”, and so when the foundation constructed a bore-hole and girl-child friendly VIP toilets, free of charge, for Government Secondary School, Kakuri, Kaduna, the joy of the State government and the students knew no bound.
At the recent event which took place at the school premises, over 4000 persons of different religious and ethnic background witnessed the occasion, as organised by the NGO, Simon Peter Life Enhancement Foundation (SPLEF).
The representative of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Commissioner of water resources, Engineer Suleiman Aliyu admitted that government alone cannot actually provide every infrastructure for the people, and assured the NGO of government support.
He said, “Yes, I agreed that government alone cannot do it all. This NGO has done so many development projects for the State.
“This is the second time I am attending this kind of event by the NGO. I want to assure all those behind it that government will try bits best to support this laudable project”.
Some of the students who spoke with our Correspondent expressed delight over the provision of the social infrastructures, but pleaded with the NGO to give them chairs and tables, many of which they said were not sufficient for them in classrooms.
The students had earlier mistaken the project to be State government initiative, shouting on top of their voices, “We don’t want toilet and bore-hole, it is chairs and tables that we want because we are sitting on the floor”.
But when reminded by Journalists that covered the event, that the bore-hole and the toilets were donated to them free of charge by a non government organisation which has nothing to do with government, the students apologised, “We are sorry, we appreciate you, and may God bless you and prosper you”
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chairman of the NGO, Engineer Simon Opara said he was spiritually inspired, without looking at the immediate monetary gains, to provide humanitarian services to schools and other communities in the country, and Kaduna State in particular.
Engineer Opara said, “The foundation has used this motto in its entire ramification to preach peaceful co-existence and entrepreneurial development in the society.
“The donation of numerous bore-holes to communities, worship places and schools as a tool for peaceful co-existence by the foundation had in no small measure helped in actualizing the dreams in many parts of Kaduna State”.
“In light of the above, the foundation had donated 25 boreholes to less privileged society, communities, churches and mosque as well as rehabilitated 22 Government dug borehole, and very soon we will dig three more for another community in Kaduna state metropolis and her suburbs in our community development program.
“In the same spirit, the foundation has trained and retained more than 70 youths in Rig fabrication and constructions, Borehole construction and maintenance, Construction of water storage facilities and water treatment plants. These are done to curb youth’s restiveness and unemployment, hence encouraging peaceful co-existence.
“We were able to reach communities like Katare, Udawa, Maraba Rido, Kakau, Gonin Gora, Barnawa, Kakuri, Sabon Tasha, Kwoi, among other communities. I believe that by the time we are through with the remaining 250 boreholes, we must have covered good proportion of Kaduna communities”.
However, a Muslim and a Christian Cleric were invited to restate the need for peaceful and harmonious living irrespective of religious and ethnic differences.
A Muslim Cleric, and Imam, Al-Manar Mosque, U/Rimi, Sheik Tukur Adam, expressed happiness over the donation of a bore-hole and VIP toilet to GSS Kakuri.
Sheikh Adam, however urged the students to continue to live in peace with one another, adding that, “We need peace and unity before we can drink water from the bore-hole because people had built bore-holes here and there, but they are abandoned as a result of crisis. So there must be peaceful co-existence in all our communities”.
For the Christian Cleric, Bishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah said Nigeria has all it takes to be a developed nation, if its resources are properly and judiciously managed.
Bishop Kukah added that the country has no reason to be where it is presently both economically and politically in terms of infrastructural development.
The Catholic Cleric spoke through the Chancellor, Good Shepherd Seminary, Kaduna, Reverend Father Habila Dabo.
He advised that people should not see Nigeria as a national cake to be shared, but a nation that its citizens must work together to develop.
“We must put religious and ethnic sentiments behind us if we want the people to have a sense of the national cake.
“Nigeria is a nation that needs its citizens to contribute his or her quota in its growth and development which can easily lead us to genuine civilization”. Bishop Kukah said.
He said any meaningful government cannot survive in leadership if it does not work with the people, stressing that government that is not people oriented or people centred is not qualified to lead the people.
To this end, he said government cannot, but employ the services of other focused and committed sectors that have like minds in serving the people.
He noted, “It is at this stage that the private sector comes in to assist and collaborate with the government in making sure the leaders and the led both journey together”.
Bishop Kukah maintained, “We have no reason in Nigeria to be where we are today economically, politically and in terms of infrastructures too. Nigeria has all it needs to be a developed nation.
“Our bane of development as a nation is poor management of what we have.
“The founder of this Foundation may not be as rich as Steve jobs or Zuckerberg of faceboook, or even Dangote here in Nigeria, but he has given what he has t assist in the development of our fellow brothers and sisters who are in the same Nigeria where money, our money is wasted and some lodged in foreign banks”.