From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Malam Adamu Dan Ningi, a meat seller at Maraban Liman Katagum, was minding his business when an august visitor came calling recently.
Although he heard the blaring of sirens and saw the commotion, when news reached him that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, was in the market that fateful Sunday, he never thought he would be a partaker of the good tidings the distinguished visitor brought.
Dan Ningi, still amazed at the surprise visit, said: “The Speaker came to my stand and asked me the price of a sheep. I told him, N20,000. He then gave me N20,000 and told me to boost my business.”
Not only was his business boosted, Ningi now has money to pay his wife’s dowry.
He said: “My in-laws asked me to pay my wife’s dowry, because I was about to get married. But with Dogara’s assistance, I can now pay the dowry and add to my capital. I will invest part of the money to buy another sheep to boost my business and then pay the dowry.”
He described Dogara as a philanthropist who assists people without discrimination.
The Speaker visited several markets in five towns and villages in the state, where he interacted with the excited traders and artisans and openly supported them with cash gifts to boost their business.
“The Speaker gave me money to support my business. I am 37 years old now, but I have never seen an elected leader walking from traders’ shop to shop, table to table empowering them with money to boost their capital, including small hawkers,” said Sabo Abdullahi.
Another trader, Abdulhamid Shuwa, also benefitted from Dogara’s gesture during the visit to the markets.
Shuwa said: “He came to my town and started from our area. I was the fourth person he assisted with money. It has been said that, if you are patient, one day Dogara’s gesture will reach you.
“We have heard several stories about how generous this honourable gentleman is. What he did is the true spirit of democracy. He gave me the money with his hand. And not only me, he even helped many people here.”
Hamisu Burgel, a local rice miller, also said: “Dogara came and we are very happy. He gave us money to boost our trade.”
Dogara has been advocating the creation of small-scale businesses and empowerment programmes to tackle extreme poverty and hunger at the grassroots.
He cautioned that democracy cannot thrive amid poverty and that hunger, poverty and violence are threatening Nigeria’s democracy.
Recently, the Speaker empowered 526 women and men after they received training and skills in various fields, especially in agriculture.
The Speaker was accompanied by his wife, Gimbiya Dogara, and the member representing Misau/Dambam Federal Constituency in Bauchi State, Ahmed Yerima.
The villages that the Speaker visited included Zwall, Burgel, Kagadaman Dass, Maraban Liman Katagum and Kadagi along Bauchi-Tafawa Balewa Road.