By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
The Aliko Dangote Foundation has continued to promote national unity among community through dutiful execution of projects.
Dangote Group is fully involved in Corporate Social Responsibility activities thereby necessitating the setting up of the Dangote Foundation, which oversees implementation of this objective. The Foundation intervenes in the areas of health, education and empowerment. The Foundation is also involved in providing humanitarian aid to victims of natural disasters.
The Dangote Group has resolved to touch the lives of Nigerians and is committed to complementing the government’s initiatives in making the economy private sector-driven. Nigeria is a land of abundant opportunities and Dangote Group is today a testimony of successful and rewarding private entrepreneurship.
Aliko Dangote Foundation has been active in communal clashes resolve in the country. For example, the Foundation was involved in resolving the Benue communal crisis.
Recently the Foundation came to the aid of the victims of the recent Yoruba and Hausa communal clash in Ile-Ife, Osun state, when it donated millions of naira to them cushion the effect of the violence.
At a grand ceremony held at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and witnessed by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as well as other notable Yoruba monarchs, both Yoruba and Hausa beneficiaries were very happy and commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote who initiated the gestures.
As cheques were being presented to the 220 beneficiaries of the Yoruba and Hausa communal clash in Ile-Ife, Access bank staffers were on ground to convert the cheques immediately to cash for those who wanted immediate cash value.
In his remark, the Ooni praised the magnanimity of Dangote in rising to the occasion each time the need arises to help victims of either natural disaster or man instigated calamities. Oba Ogunwusi said the generosity of Alhaji Dangote was unparalleled noting that many others rich men and women in Nigeria could have easily done the same thing but chose to keep to themselves.
He said: Dangote is touching the peoples’ lives in so many ways either through his array of products or through his employment generation efforts. Now he has added humanitarian assistance to it, giving back to the society and doling out money to help Nigerians in need.
“Our youths are jobless and 70 percent of our population is youths and Dangote is helping the youths. I appeal to our youths to embrace peace. Those who engage in hate speeches and threats of war should stop it. When there is violence, the executors are youths and the victims will be youths. Let us come together and channel positive cause for ourselves and say enough is enough. I have surrendered my life to the cause of the youths. So also the Emir of Kano and several other monarchs. So I challenge other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Alhaji Dangote. And I enjoin the youths to please pray for him”.
Speaking earlier, The Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanausi regretted that the people engaged in violence which ought not to be noting that peace should be desired by all because no development can happen without peace.
He praised the Ooni over the manner he handled the incidence when it broke out saying he briefed both himself and Sultan of Sokoto on the development and action taken so far and that both of them were convinced that the Ooni did the right thing at that material time to not only douse the tension but ensure peace reign continually.
Alhaji Sanusi said the violence was regretted and that with measures put in place, they pray it never happen again either in Ife or any part of Nigeria. “I implore those spreading hate speeches not to set Nigeria up in flames. War would not do anybody any good.
“Those beating the drums or war seeking cessation should take a look at the map of Africa and see how war has torn into pieces countries like Ruwanda, Somalia, Sudan, among others.
“I would like to thank Alhaji Dangote for his constant response to distress calls for assistance whenever there is problem in any part of Nigeria. What we witnessed that day, we pray such would never happen again”, Sanusi said.
In her comment, the chief executive officer of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Mrs. Zouera Youssoufou said the clash between the Hausa and Yoruba was touchy to Alhaji Dangote and then promised that he was going to do something as a relief measure to the victims of the violence clash.
“Alhaji Dangote was disturbed at the clash and wondered why communities who have been living together would allow a minor disagreement to tear them apart to the extent of killing themselves and destroying their properties.
“So he has decided to cushion the effect by identifying the victims who are still alive but suffer destruction of their properties and means of livelihood. So today we have screwed 220 victims who will benefit from the donation according to their losses,” she said.
Youssoufou said the gesture was meant to help them resettle and come back to life “as what happened was not wished for in the first place.”
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