by Arigbabu Neemah
I am confused, I feel betrayed and heartbroken. However, much more than any of those I am very angry. Contrary to the title of this piece, this letter is directed to the many reasonable people whose intent is to know the truth of the matter.
My social campaigns were born from a conviction that someone should do something about the crisis in the North East which was and still is a very painful experience for many especially the IDPs who have lost their homes, families and whose future seem bleak. I was supported by gracious people who were generous with their time, hearts, retweets and many who put in effort to make the campaigns successful.
I am utterly disappointed that our donors are being disturbed by stories made up purely to hurt my person. I am disgusted that the time and efforts people put into the exercise is being ridiculed by never-do-gooders whose life achievement can only be measured by the time they spend on slandering people on social media. I am concerned that few close relatives who gave me cash to fund logistics and travel around might have second guessed my intent on the campaign.
I am particularly gutted because I specifically rejected cash donations, no one donor can step out and say they donated cash to the campaign in the North East that I supervised.
Yet this is what some have been saying about me and my motives:
I will now address each of the campaigns one after the other not because I am giving the wrong people a power over me but because I understand a lie let to live may be seen as the truth someday.
I haven’t been involved in any campaign since the successful completion of distribution of every item donated. We coordinated about six campaigns between 2014 to 2016. Here’s a recap:
BALL FOR BORNO (1 & 2)
A charity game aimed at raising relief items for the internally displaced in Borno state. All items received from Ball for Borno 1(Ikoyi, Lagos) were distributed by Purple Heart foundation (Dr Fatima Zana Gana) and Ball for Borno 2’s items were distributed by BAOBAB’s activists for Women’s rights. (Dr Hauwa and Mr Muhammad Amin). Mr Muhammad Amin spoke at the event in Unilag.
FEED A PERSON THIS RAMADHAN (1 & 2)
This campaign was aimed at providing food items for people within BIU camp during the month of Ramadhan. Food items were received; 3 bags of rice and 2 cartons of spaghetti. Other items purchased were from funds given to me by close friends and family. Special thanks to @nekanmoruf and everyone else who donated (not sourced from the public). The items were packed into smaller bags and were sent to Borno via Gudaco Motors both times. The first part of the campaign was distributed by BAOBAB.
During this campaign, few people came around to support and help repackage the items for distribution. We used about a week to repackage the items for people at the camps! (Big thanks to these awesome ladies; Shade, Fola, Aduke, Tobi, Jibola and this gentleman: Stanley.) Special thanks to @sisi_eko15. Asides packing the items for the victims, they also assisted in sharing the items every weekend during Ramadhan! The second part of the campaign was distributed by me personally.
This was a carwash campaign. Some awesome ladies and I washed cars for a fee. With the funds gotten from 343 orphans (appx. 70,000 naira) a play centre was created; 2 mobile land lines were bought and a satellite for cartoon network for the kids were built in the camp.
CAPS FOR CASH
This was an initiative created by my close friend (Monisola) and I. We financed this personally. We bought sewing machines and built a sewing centre within the BIU camp in 2015. The purpose of this was to empower the skilful internally displaced persons and get them busy. They knitted caps and we helped get buyers for them, the cash was given to the individuals who made the respective caps. We had a challenge when the generator I bought for the mini clinic in the camp was stolen alongside 4 sewing machines, I didn’t request for reimbursement from anyone and I personally replaced them.
IT FOR IDP (IT4IDP)
This was aimed at building an IT centre for the IDP (mostly kids) we collected 7 broken laptops from donors on twitter; fixed, installed anti-virus and repackaged. I bought a canopy and blankets for the women too (from my salary). @safinu_ado contributed his skills to teaching the kids.
I do not see how I have done wrong by spending my time, money and management skills to help the cause of the internally displaced persons in Borno. All I did for the campaigns were purely altruistic and not for the aim of making profit. My religion teaches me the goodness in helping the needy and the less privileged. I know the comeuppance for taking advantage of people’s circumstances and using it to enrich myself.
It is with regret that I am writing the numerous times I had to use my personal money. It is not for grandstanding purposes as my religion forbids this, however, I am doing this to lay it bare as it is.
The issue of food items ‘donated’ by ‘someone’ for the IDPs and sold by me is laughable and I will explain. Prior to Eid, as always, I wanted to do things within the camp and was cash strapped because work hadn’t paid salaries, so I reached out to our food stuff supplier on any possible ways she could be of help. She suggested that for every bag of rice she sold (from her stock, not donated), she’ll give her profit to the cause. I reached out to people in order to get customers who could buy in bulk from her, @ayourb connected me to a LG Chairman in Apapa who was happy to buy some bags of rice from her, I also sold rams bought by @iamaduke and @boohaare (these items were not donated) to the same Chairman to raise funds. Anyway, the funds I got from there was added to provide meals for kids and their mothers during the festive period to make them happy. Proceeds from these were meant to be channelled towards charity. Which I did
I am at loss how a group of sad people came about the story of me selling food items donated to the IDPs and how I used the proceeds to travel abroad for my studies. I’ll implore you to ask any of them to be brave enough to come publicly with their irrefutable facts rather than hiding behind their keyboards and sending subtle messages. I wonder why none of them is yet to face me head on and say “Nimah, you are a thief, you sold donated items to travel abroad and here is my fact.” I guarantee you, none of them have the courage to do so, let them prove they aren’t cowards and categorically state what I said above!
I also dare them to provide the names of the following; the individual who donated the truckloads of items I sold and used the to travel abroad and list of people who donated huge money I stole to pay my fees. Let me repeat, I DARE YOU! If you can’t provide these, everything in Surah Al Masadd is my gift to you; the creator of the rumour and everyone of you who is spreading it.
I have noticed that these personal attacks only come up each time I criticise the incumbent federal government. if this is a cheap attempt at shutting me up, it is not working.
We all know how expensive it is to “School Abroad.” Do you know how many Bags of rice and items I would have had to sell to come up with that amount?
This will be the last time I will be addressing the issue, and I did only because of people that really want to know the truth. This will not stop me from engaging in charity acts in future. I am proof that a nobody with few friends can start something that alleviates the pain of the needy while proper and long lasting solutions are made by the government.