ADDRESS BY FOUNDER & PRESIDENT OF AL-ANSAR FOUNDATION dr M. K DIKWA, mni, Ph.D., FCNA, FCTI, ACA for flag-off DISTRIBUTION OF ASSORTED ITEMS TO PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED PERSONS, ORPHANS, WIDOWS AND PRISON IMATES IN LAFIA, NASARAWA STATE

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PROTOCOL,

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

2.     All praises are due to the Almighty Allah (SWT) for His mercies and blessings upon us and the entire humanity. May his peace and blessings be upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (S.A.W.), his Household and Companions.

3.     The Al-Ansar Foundation family is glad to be in your midst today, here in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on this special and memorable occasion, to be joined by His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, Members of State House of Assembly, Members of the State Executive Council (SEC), eminent traditional and religious leaders and other distinguished personalities here present. 4      On behalf of the AAF, I welcome you all to this occasion of our empowerment program being the first in the series of what we plan to do as humanitarian drive in Nasarawa State. Permit me therefore, to use this opportunity to appreciate His Excellency, the Executive Governor and people of Nasarawa State for hosting us today. Your Excellency we are very much delighted for the warm and historic reception accorded me and my entourage since our arrival this morning in the State capital, we are indeed honoured. In just few hours of our arrival today, we noticed giant strides in the development of the State by His Excellency, this really makes us proud and excited to be associated with your Administration. We urged His Excellency to keep up this momentous of rapid transformation of the

State. May Allah (SWT) guide, bless and protect you in steering affairs of your State.

5.     Your Excellency, distinguished invited guests, we are aware that the resources available to governments to execute projects and programmes are mostly inadequate. As a result, private sector support is always needed to compliment the efforts of even achieving Governors like your humble self to ensure that poverty levels are reduced and the most vulnerable amongst the societies are protected, and their livelihoods are enhanced to a large extent. If well-meaning citizens contribute their quarter in one way or the other developments of every sectors of the State economy will be achieved in a very short period.

6.     According to report by Grassroots Researchers Association (GRA), there is an alarming increase in the number of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Northern Nigeria more than any other region in the country. This according to the Association is attributed largely to the persistent conflicts in recent years. This has exacerbated into negative impact on PWDs living conditions thereby compromising their ability to pursue economic activities and earn a livelihood as well as to enjoy social and cultural life. This negative impact is not only being felt by the PWDs alone but especially by children and women, who are prone to all kinds of social vices.

7.     Furthermore, in addition to the earlier challenges mentioned, PWD, orphans and widows face a lot of social disconnections and discrimination in education, employment and access to public transportation to say the least. Their needs and concerns are rarely taken into consideration in governance processes. Harsh economic realities prevail, and there is little support outside of benevolent families and caregivers for many of these groups of persons. As a result, they are often predisposed to dependence on street begging, hawking and roaming the streets which further endangers their lives.

8.     It is against this backdrop that Al-Ansar Foundation – a non-Governmental, non-political, non-profit organization came up with this initiative aimed at bringing succour to these groups of physically challenged persons, orphans and widows in our societies through provision of life’s basic needs and other essential items to support them and their families in order to improve their living conditions.

9.     For many years we have restricted this gesture to beneficiaries across the North-East region alone. However, we decided to expand the scope of the program early this year and going forward, to other regions of the country. Our goal is to empower the most vulnerable and underprivileged citizens among us to alleviate their sufferings while reducing poverty and hunger in our societies.

10.    Your Excellency, our esteemed invited guests, and government officials, it is on the basis of the above philosophy that the Foundation have brought in some basic items for distribution to physically challenged persons, widows and orphans across Nasarawa State. These items include:

  • 200 Wheelchairs;
  • 2000 bags of 10kg Rice;
  • 100 cartons of Vegetable Oil;
  • 200 sets of Wrappers;
  • 50 cartons of Frisco Cream;
  • 50 cartons of Peak Milk 123; and
  • 100 cartons of Molfix Diapers etc.

11.    Your Excellency, distinguished ladies and gentlemen; what you are witnessing today, is our little way of identifying with some of the vulnerable persons in Nasarawa State as part of our desire to serve humanity which is one of the cardinal objectives of our Foundation. To this end, may I use this opportunity to call on individuals, corporate organizations as well as governments at all levels to join in the crusade of reaching out to the most vulnerable citizens in their needs with a view to alleviate their sufferings.

12.    Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me conclude this address, by once again thanking everyone for being here with us today on this memorable occasion.

13.    Thank you and may Allah reward us all.