These days, it is rare to see anyone touching the lives of others expecting nothing, but it’s a different case for this Nasarawa state-born businessman. MUAZU ABARI reports.
In every human society, icons emerge in the socio-economic and political affairs to touch the lives of people and ultimately contribute their quota to the development of that society.
That is why they never relent in their determination to leave indelible marks in the sands of time and get their names clearly written on the pages of history.
Mallam Gambo Yakubu (Santalin Lafia) is one of such gifts to the people of Nasarawa state. He radiates confidence and epitomises a new hope in the collective aspirations of the people to have a better and sustainable life. His resolute and remarkable determination to the cause of humanity stands him out in the affairs of the state.
Gambo is a phylanthrophist, entrepreneur and successful business man with so many business connections and tentacles within the length and breath of the country and beyond the shores of Nigeria especially in the oil and gas sector with versed knowledge in both Western and Islamic education.
He does not belief in blowing his own trumpet over his act of piety, but he is someone whose love for the common man and contributions to the development of Nasarawa and his people has put him ahead of other wealthy individuals in the state, a proof that with determinarion and foresight, youths can break all barriers and write their names in gold.
In all his 47 years on earth, he had been in the private sector and business world where he has carved a niche for himself.
In all, investigation shows that he touched the lives of many people and society especially the poor masses in the area of education, infrastructural development, health, community development services, among others, at a time when others are more concerned about themselves and their families.
As an entrepreneaur and successful businessman with network of business connections within and outside the country, Santalin Lafia has provided employment opportunities to many youths, sons and daughters of Nasarawa in both public and private institutions leveraging on his influences, connections and social contacts as well as directly engaging the people of the state into his businesses outlets to make them self-reliant.
He has also provided financial suports to youths and the down-trodden in the state to enable them grow businesses and be useful to themselves and the society. This he does by engaging and training others towards reducing poverty and unemployment.
In the area of education, he has built schools for orphans and children of less- privileged in his community of Azara in line with his conviction to give back to the society. From primary to secondary schools, it is free for his community, a move seen as unprecedented in the history of Nasarawa in addition to providing scholarship to different categories of citizens as well as payment of WAEC, NECO and other examination fees.
Gambo has also distributed 50,000 exercise books to schools across Nasarawa West with each of the five local governments that make up the senatorial district receiving 10,000 each. He also distributed another 50,000 exercise books to schools in southern senatorial district which also has five local governments bringing the total numbers of exercise books distributed so far to 100,0000. Nasarawa North with three local governments is waiting for its turn.
It is on record that he has supported in the area of infrastructural development, sighting of industrial boreholes in various communities across the length and breath of the state with the aim of tackling perennial water shortages, among many other interventions, which has continued to bring succour to the ordinary people.
The health sector of the state also benefits from his magnanimity. Aside off-setting the medical bills of the less-privileged, he also constituted a medical team he pays a million naira weekly to carry out free medical outreach in the three senatorial districts of the state.
Santalin Lafia also supported religious organisations, renovated and constructed many worship centres across the three senatorial districts, a gesture that continued to attract him to the hearts of the people.
Women and children
Apart from countless supports and financial assistance to vulnerable groups, he has also collected data of 5O vulnerable women and youths to support them with substantial amount of money for the period of six months aside distributing food items, wrappers to needy women across the 13 local government areas during the last Sallah celebration.
Most citizens of the state expressed regret that even though the state is blessed with wealthy individuals, they don’t assist their people. They however called on other privileged and wealthy citizens to emulate Gambo in bringing succour to the common man while advising on him to vie for the gubernstorial seat of the state come 2023 as a form of pay back for him.