In an unusual philanthropic gesture, a businessman, Jimoh Rauf, has put smiles on the faces of Igboeze South Local Government Area residents of Enugu State.
But this is not the first time he has been doing this in the local government area. He has, in the last 10 years, been constructing roads in the area, according to findings.
Though a Yoruba tribe, the businessman was born and brought up in Ibagwa-Aka in Igboeze. Popularly called Jimoh by the locals, his grandfather settled in the village many years back, and he says this is his way of saying thank you to his roots.
Rauf sponsored the construction of the four-kilometre Umude road, traversing Ibagwa-Aka, the headquarters of Igboeze South Local Government Area of the state. The businessman said the construction of the abandoned and dilapidated road was part of his community development projects.
The road has two drainages and culverts.
It was impassable in some parts due to erosion before the intervention, according to elated residents.
John Omeje, a resident, related how the road has been. “Jimoh has put shame on the authorities of Igboeze South LGA. Jimoh has been constructing street roads in our area for over a decade. He constructs them with drainage systems. Then he fixes streetlights and maintains them,” Omeje said.
He has also sponsored the renovation of the two secondary schools in the area and a health centre for the community.
A mother of two, Nkechi Okeke, said, “Child delivery in the health centre is free. Mothers who give birth there for the first time are entitled to N20, 000 each. He is God-sent.”
Another resident, who craved for anonymity said, “Our political leaders should be ashamed of themselves. The Umude road he is currently fixing is where our council chairmen, both past and present, pass on their way to the office everyday. The road leading to the headquarters tees off from Umude road. They don’t care about us over the years. I’m sure Jimoh will extend the road to the headquarters itself.”
Jimoh, it was gathered, is a Yoruba, but born and bred at Ibagwa-Aka in Igboeze LGA.
John Odo, who hails from there, said, “Jimoh’s grandfather settled at Ibagwa even before the war. Then, our people would give land to anybody that wanted to settle. His grandfather settled and later brought more of his people to settle with him. The place is now called Yoruba Quarters.”
“We inter-marry; we do everything together. Jimoh is a Muslim. He built mosques for Yoruba and Hausa people living in Ibagwa. Each village presents their respective problems to him, and he settles them one after the other.
“His mother is from Ovoko, a nearby community. We can’t thank him enough. He has shown government officials what it takes to be a leader.
“Unfortunately, Jimoh said he has nothing to do with politics. He does his business in Abuja and returns from time to time.
“He builds solid roads. He builds boreholes to assist us. He is the government we see. We pray for him in churches, mosques and in our traditional ways.”