2020 will ever be noted in the global calendar as one of uncertainties, the world was locked down for months from both social and economic activities, Mega events were cancelled and rescheduled, Churches, Markets and Schools were in operable and yet the media remained constant.
Nigeria like other part of the world still had an eventful year regardless of the social distancing and self isolation rules that reigned supreme, we had the ENDSARS , that led to the Lekki shootings and the hunt for palliatives.
2020 before Covid’s sojourn to Nigeria, we witnessed what most considered a travesty of justice in Supreme Court ruling on the Imo State guber election, this article is not about events of the last year, but rather the individuals that were exceptional regardless of the situations and whose action were pivotal in lifting up the spirit of others in different social spheres of the nation during the course of last year.
Annually Nigerian eye Newspaper beams a spotlight on such individuals, and below is one of the person we believe was exceptional in her efforts to keep the social wheels of our lives running, she is brave and among the innovative individuals who championed the cause in different aspect of lives in the year 2020.
Sadia Umar Farouk
Sadia Umar Farouk the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development was faced with the daunting task of steering the humanitarian affairs of the nation at the face of a global pandemic which no one was prepared for , the last global pandemic was about 100 years ago during the h1ni1 flu virus of 1918.
While strategizing and perfecting ploys on the best way to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the most vulnerable members of the society, her office attracted the most criticism as she was accused of not delivering on the promises of her office. Most Nigerians did not believe her when she kick-started the payment of 20,000 Naira to the poor as agreed by the FG, as many were of the opinion that Nigeria do not have a database of its poor.
Sadia Umar Farouk risked the pandemic to embark on tour to some states to supervise the operation as the team leader in the provision of relief materials to the poor, the vulnerable and persons living with disabilities in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
She went to Imo, Anambra, Lagos and Ogun States to check the effectiveness of the Federal Government’s N20,000 Conditional Cash Transfer programme, yet the angry Nigerians seems to have found themselves out of place with her plans and measures to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the populace, and the social media space tagged her efforts as “audio’’ meaning that her office was playing to the gallery and their efforts are not reflecting on the life of the poor.
She remained Silent at the face of all the criticism and continued on her duties to the best of her abilities without responding to any of her critic, the social media did not spare her ,but alas she was vindicated when the ENDSARS Protest spiraled into hunting for palliatives, as Nigerians hell bent on finding a means of surviving the untold hunger in the land were surprised that the palliatives that were procured by her office and shipped to the states, to be shared to Nigerians were rather not distributed by most of the state governors as intended and were holed up in Warehouses in different states.
The tragi-comedy situation that ensued from the hunt for palliatives in almost every state in the nation at least went to a great length in proving her innocence on the unfounded allegations and caricature of her person, which she yet responded with a deafening silence, with all her energy and concentration focused on the best possible ways of executing her duties and doing her job.
“In all the states I visited, I presented relief materials on behalf of the Federal Government. In my interaction with governors, I implored the state governments to prioritize the poor, vulnerable and persons with disabilities as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.”
The above statement which she made during the state tour in April , was proven true in November as Nigerians themselves were shocked with the discovery of the warehouses where the palliatives mean to relieve them off their suffering during the pandemic, was hoarded by some state governors.
2020 will be remembered as a year that Nigerian Youths went an extra length to demand that their voice be heard from those in the nation’s political leadership, apart from her ,no Nigeria politician deserve a spot on this list for the year 2020 as they mostly exhibited a grandeur of selfishness,on how they treated the issues related to the citizens,palliatives distribution and the alleged Lekki shooting as well, but Sadia Umar Farouq made it top of this year’s list for her exemplary personality and the humility with which she absorbed all the critics that came her way consistently with nothing more but her ever deafening silence.