…receives Gen Buratai uncommon gift
By: Okosun Dennis
Unfortunately, God created men with different idiosyncrasies, mannerisms and ability to conceptualise situations differently. When a man predicts your future, only God has the authority to change it without consultations.
But when fellow human beings rejected and dispersed you, in similar fashion, God uses others to bring succour to you and deep sense of fulfilment where it is least expected.
For the Octogenarian, Paul Ojo, a retired Army Warrant Officer, God has turned his hopeless situation to amazing Grace.
To him, before yesterday, life was almost valueless and worthless. He was dehumanised by the agents of Kaduna State government as some mindless and irrational emissaries of Kaduna government led by Police Officer DSP Ahmed, swooped on him and family like a behemoth and ejected him from his two bedroom house.
He opened his eyes, tears didn’t come out; he tried to cry but his tongue was dried and couldn’t cry. He looked motionless, engulfed in thinking spree how he was going to come out unhurt, he narrated to Nationalwire online through a telephone conversation.
Where he once called a comfortable home for about 30 years vanished and became a passing glance. The joy and flavour of retirement suddenly gave rise to hopelessness and ungiddy state.
He was allegedly dragged on the floor out of his house. His son, a Private soldier in the Army was beaten to stupor and handcuffed by policemen sent to evict him. The soldier was later taken to their station and locked up. However, he secured his freedom after bail condition of N3,500 by family members was met.
When Nationalwire online spoke with Papa Ojo last week, it was laced with despair. He cried as he narrated his plight; explaining how he was on the 17th August 2020 evicted from his two bedroom apartment at Number L2, KASUPDA Quarters, Kabala Costain, Kaduna North Local Government Area by Kaduna State Government.
Lt Gen Tukur Buratai’s Uncommon Gift
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai on Tuesday wiped away the tears of the retired soldier: 63NA/8725 Warrant Officer, Paul Ojo.
What appears to be a hopeless situation was turned into laughter and joy as Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, out of magnanimity, a deep sense of pity and show of milk of human kindness gifted the 85 years old Paul Ojo and his 75 years old wife, Veronica and two sons a three-bedroom flat located at House No. 26 Yakowa Street, Anguwan Galadima, Kaduna State.
The General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Usman Shehu Mohammed, who delivered the unexpected gift to the family, expressed satisfaction as he gorgeously handed over the keys and documents of the house to the family in Kaduna.
In a letter signed by the GOC and titled: ‘Presentation of a 3 Bedroom House, Ex-63NA/8725 WO Paul Ojo” read in part: “The COAS, Lt.Gen. TY Buratai got information about the unfortunate circumstances that led to your ejection from your erstwhile Kabala Costain on 17th August 2020.
“He was emotionally touched by your plight and consequently directed that an alternative permanent accommodation be secured for you and your family.
“Pursuant to this, we were able to secure a more befitting house at No 26 Yakowa Street Anguwan Galadima Kaduna.”
The gesture erased the agony, despair and seeming hopelessness that beclouded the family following the heartless eviction by Kaduna state government.
Pa Ojo, in wild Jubilation and Celebration
In a telephone conversation with Nationalwire, he screamed and said: “I just thank God. As far as I am concerned, I am going to be part of the veterans whether I like it or not.
“I have never seen a thing like this. God has heard the prayer of the innocent and has come to do wonderful thing for me and family. God has wiped my tears with joy. I don’t know where to start from thanking him.
“Only God will bless the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, the GOC, 1 Division, Maj Gen Mohammed that delivered the keys to me and the whole of you that have hand in this that my tears will not last forever.”
While speaking to him a couple of weeks ago, he explained that he got the property during the administration of the former Military Governor, Colonel Jafaru Isah and has been living there for almost 30 years.
He explained that he wasn’t owing anybody of government and he paid every Kobo they asked for and see no reason why the present Governor Mallam El-Rufai sent his emissaries to eject him from his priced asset.
His Son, Joseph Expresses Gratitude
His eldest son, Joseph Ojo said he was shocked to have had them evicted from their house without prior notice but thanked God for given them course to rejoice.
He explained that his father bidded for the house and paid in two instalment to the government. Unfortunately, they detoured and said they have sold the same house to another person and asked them to leave.
The question was: “Leave to where? My father paid and had all the documents given to him. We had no choice than to seek legal advise and went to Court. The matter is still in court before they came and forced us out of the house.
“The whole family is very happy with this new house from the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai. Words are not enough to thank the Nigerian Army, especially the COAS for this uncommon donation. Two weeks ago, we were very sad and we thank God for everything.
“We were very disappointed with the Kaduna state government. It was a moment of sadness and confusion throughout those period. During those weeks, we were unsettled. Not only that, we never expected that the police sent to carry out the hatchet eviction could disrespect a soldier to that extent.
“It was a ride shock because we never expected it coming. There was no Information or given any idea it was going to be like that.
“The crudest aspect of the eviction was that, we met every condition. We did everything they asked us to do in terms of payment and that was why we were off guard. When they wanted to sell, they asked us to bid for the house and we bidded and they accepted it before we went ahead to pay every kobo in two instalments and they gave us all the papers.”
Asked why the sudden change and eventual eviction, Joseph explained that the only reason “we knew was that they said they wanted to sell it to another person and we went to court. The case is in the court now and they came to evict us.”
On the crudest method they used in envicting them from the house, Joseph further narrated that they actually used the police to throw their things out of the house.
“They used the police who came shooting sporadically. As that was not enough, they beat up my brother who is a Private soldier in the Nigerian Army and handcuffed him. They later took him in handcuffs to their station and we eventually bailed him with N3,500, Joseph narrated their ordeals.
Coalition of Concerned Veterans (CCV) Reacts
Since Pa Paul Ojo, was harassed, assaulted and forcefully ejected from his house, the Coalition of Concerned Veterans (CCV) led by its spokesperson, Comrade
Sedisyne Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, and the Chairman, Mando Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association rallied round their colleague to ensure that justice was served.
On Monday, CCV accompanied the 85 years old veteran along with his lawyer to Liberty Television, a popular media house in Kaduna state, where the Veteran recounted his ordeal and campaigned against the injustice meted on him and his family.
In a statement, Comrade Durowaiye-Herberts thanked the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Chief of Army Staff, (COAS) and the General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 1 Division for this great honour and generosity and “wish to further appeal that Pa Ojo wasn’t the only one affected. There are others including widows whom we believe will also benefit from the kindness exhibited by the authority.
“We also thank all that cried out in solidarity against the injustice meted out on the Veteran by the government of Kaduna state, particularly the media. We would not rest on our oars until others also get justice,” Durowaiye-Herberts reiterated