Yenagoa—The National President of the Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF), Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli has hailed the president of Azikel Group, Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani (CFR) for donating food and other relief materials to flood victims in Bayelsa State.
Ikuli said with the exception of the intervention of the state government, Eruani’s donation to the Bayelsa flood victims is so far unparalleled.
In a statement on Thursday, the ex-agitator while commending Eruani’s gesture hinted that the businessman has donated over 8,000 bags of rice and 1,000 pieces of mattresses to be shared across the eight Local Government Areas in the state.
“So far, besides the Bayelsa State Government that led the Relief distribution campaign with N450Million and the recent announcement of an additional N450Million, making it N900Million.
“Few other publicly spirited individuals have also reached out including Mr. Peter Obi; Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) who gave an undisclosed amount which is promised and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but that of Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR; the President of Azikel Group which has raised a lot of dust remains the highest.
“Dr. Eruani has procured 8000 Bags of 50KG Bags of Rice for onward distribution to the 8LGAs in the state, meaning 1000Bags per LGA. Presently, the market price of 50KG in Bayelsa state is N50,000.00. Meanwhile, the 8000 Bags were bought at the cost of N45,000.00 per bag.
“Going by my elementary knowledge of arithmetic, you have 45,000×8000 = N360,000,000.00 in the figure while in words, it is Three Hundred and Sixty Million Naira.
“The above excludes logistics and the transportation of the rice from Abuja where they are moved to Bayelsa state.
“Very importantly, earlier Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR had sent 1000 mattresses to Bayelsa state so that they can be distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The market price of one of those mattresses is not less than N5000 but let us use N5000 as the benchmark, N5000×1000 = N5,000,000.00.”
The activist further chided those he said have been writing unprintable things on social media about Eruani since the announcement of his donations.
He added that Eruani has no obligation to donate but did so out of his compassion and his humanitarian character.
He said, “Surprisingly, most of those negative words are coming from people whose supposed ‘political godfathers’ have not donated a grain of rice to IDPs not even to them the ‘master am loyal boys’.
“For the records, Dr. Eruani is not under any obligation whatsoever to donate relief materials to anyone.
“He left the government over 15 years ago or thereabout where he only served as special adviser and commissioner at a time Bayelsa State allocation was very low so he cannot be accused of making his present wealth through government.
“His donation was not political but was purely on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. But come to look at it, even if it is political, how much have their godfathers with ambitions and those who are already contesting donated? ”
While also lauding the Eruani for being conferred with the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), Ikuli noted that Bayelsans do not value their own.
Ikuli who is also the Executive Director of the
Centre for Peace Advocacy and Social Rehabilitation (CPASR) described Eruani as an illustrious Ijaw son whose hard work he said has seen him make strides in the aviation, marine and other sectors with employees from different racial backgrounds.
He further hailed him for his philanthropic engagements, noting that the businessman has sponsored academic scholarships and skill acquisition programmes for many people over the years.
“This is a young man whose hard work has made him succeed in the aviation sector, marine, and other areas. He owns 3 aeroplanes and 2 gelicopters.
“He owns fleets of dredgers with Azikel Dredging Company as one of the leading dredging companies in the country and Africa as a whole.
“This is one illustrious son of the Ijaw Nation that has employed many whitemen as pilots with many blacks and Bayelsa state making the highest percentage of his workforce.
“He has given scholarships to countless numbers. Same with many he has sponsored them to acquire skills in many trades that have made them self-reliant and useful to society. The above excludes the multitudes that depend on him for their daily upkeep,” he noted.
He however urged “youths to think of channeling our God-given intellectual prowess into gainful ventures instead of always attempting to trivialize or water down the genuine benevolence, goodwill and philanthropic gestures of others.