British Stu­dent Bags Tra­di­tional Ti­tle in Kaduna Com­mu­nity

THISDAY - - NEWS EXTRA - In Kaduna

John Shik­lam

The Kagoma Chief­dom in Jama’a Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, has con­ferred a tra­di­tional ti­tle of “Byeh Gwong” (Helper of Kagoma), on Seth Thomas, an 18-year old British stu­dent for build­ing a health cen­tre in Asso vil­lage.

Seth was tur­baned in the vil­lage last Fri­day by the para­mount ruler of Kagoma King­dom, the Kpop Gwong, Col. Paul Zakka Wyom (rtd), at a colour­ful cer­e­mony dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the fa­cil­ity, which was con­structed at the cost of £50,000 (about N23.4 mil­lion).

Speak­ing at the event which was at­tended by Seth’s fa­ther, Mr. Mervyn Thomas, who is the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of UK-based Chris­tian Sol­i­dar­ity World­wide, (CSW-UK), the tra­di­tional ruler said his peo­ple would re­main eter­nally grate­ful to Thomas for help­ing them.

Re­call­ing how the project came about, Wyom said in 2017, he at­tended a meet­ing of the CSW in Abuja, where he told the story of the per­sis­tent at­tacks in South­ern Kaduna com­mu­ni­ties and how the at­tack­ers in­vaded Asso vil­lage and killed 12 peo­ple in April 2017.

He said af­ter the meet­ing, Seth and his fa­ther were moved by the story and de­cided to visit Asso vil­lage to see things for them­selves.

“It never crossed my mind that a mir­a­cle was on the way. Our peo­ple will re­main eter­nally grate­ful to Seth for his kind heart” the tra­di­tional ruler said.

He said the clinic will ben­e­fit Asso and many other com­mu­ni­ties in the area and urged wealthy Nige­ri­ans to come to the aide of ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties by tak­ing a cue from Seth and pro­vide ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties that could im­prove the liv­ing con­di­tions of the peo­ple.

Wyom charged the com­mu­nity to take good care of the fa­cil­ity which was handed over to the Pres­i­dent of

Evan­gel­i­cal Church Win­ning All (ECWA) Rev. Stephen Panya Baba.

The fa­cil­ity was also handed over to ECWA to man­age.

In his re­marks at the oc­ca­sion, Seth said he was in­spired to ini­ti­ate the project by the ter­ri­ble con­di­tion of a young boy, Jude Ayuba, who he met dur­ing his visit to Asso vil­lage.

He said he was touched that Ayuba’s leg was badly in­fected by a bul­let wound be­cause he couldn’t af­ford proper med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

“As I left you that day and drove out of the vil­lage, I couldn’t get out of my mind the im­age of poor Jude with his badly in­fected leg, due to the bul­let lodged in it.

“I asked our host, Rev. Yunusa Nmadu, why Jude couldn’t have had proper med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

“He told me that it was be­cause the near­est hos­pi­tal was many miles away. At that very mo­ment I de­ter­mined in my heart that with God’s help I would raise the money to build your own hos­pi­tal here in Asso,” he said.

Nar­rat­ing how he raised £50,000 for the project, he said: “When I got back to my school, the first thing I did was to per­suade them to fundraise for the Asso clinic/hos­pi­tal, and over the next six months, my school friends raised £15,000.

“My head­mas­ter let me speak at a spe­cial ser­vice cel­e­brat­ing my school’s 150th an­niver­sary, and the of­fer­ing that day was over £2,500.

“But I was still a very long way from the tar­get of £50,000 which I needed to build this hos­pi­tal. “Some peo­ple even told me that it was im­pos­si­ble, and that I should give up. But I couldn’t get the im­age of you, my broth­ers and sis­ters out of my mind.

“Then God gave me the verse from Luke 18:27 - ‘What is im­pos­si­ble for peo­ple is pos­si­ble with God’. From that mo­ment I had no doubt at all that God would pro­vide.

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