Nigeria Football international, Obafemi Martins on Thursday donated health equipment worth several millions of naira to the Lagos State Government, saying it was part of his philanthropic gestures to give back to the society.
Among the equipment donated by Martins, through his foundation, Obafemi Martins Foundation (OMF), include 200 Wheel Chairs, 3,240 Crutches, 100 Baby Courts, 60 Hospital Beds, 13 Electric Wheel Chairs and 3200 Blind Sticks.
Presenting the equipment to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode at a short ceremony held at Lagos House in Ikeja, Martins, who currently plies his trade with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C in China, said the mission of his Foundation is to assist members of the community who are in need as a result of being handicapped.
“I am grateful to announce that the Foundation is currently prepared to donate a lot of wheel chairs, electronic wheel chairs, clutches and other equipment. I am confident that this contribution will impact lives in our communities. Through service to our community, we can all make a difference,” Martins said.
He, however, said that the Foundation would not only stop at the donation, adding that there would be more interventions in the nearest future.
Receiving the equipment on behalf of the State Government, Governor Ambode commended Martins for the gesture, saying that it was not only a worthy and noble act of selfless service, but a clear demonstration of his commitment to Nigeria and most especially Lagos State.
“We are all delighted to welcome Obafemi Martins back home. As you are aware, he is a true born Lagosian and through his Foundation, he has deemed it necessary to extend selfless service back to his community.
“We are, on behalf of Lagosians, saying a big thank you to you. Apart from the fact that you have become an excellent ambassador for Lagos, you’ve done extremely very well in your chosen career. You’ve also deemed it fit that it’s time to pay back to humanity. Apart from the fact that these are things that we would use in our hospitals, there are also things that we are going to use for people living with disabilities.
“This actually complements the efforts of the government to support our less privileged brothers and sisters. You have shown yourself to be a true role model on and off the pitch and Lagos State is very proud to associate with you. Once again, I commend you for your philanthropic gesture and wish you more successes in your endeavours,” the Governor said.
Governor Ambode, who later presented a letter of commendation personally signed by him to Martins, also seized the occasion to encourage other well-meaning Nigerians and organisations that have the opportunity to contribute back to the community to emulate such gesture.
“I have been reliably informed few weeks back that we also had this kind of gesture from the proprietor of Ebeano Supermarket for the giant stride he did for us at Ibeju-Lekki General Hospital, I want to also use this opportunity to say a big thank you to him and also to let others willing to support us and complement the efforts of government to do the same,” the Governor said.
He said Martins’ gesture has reinforced his administration’s belief that sports remains a veritable tool that can be utilized to touch humanity, just as he assured that the equipment would be put to judicious use especially at the Primary Healthcare Centres across the State.
“I think that there is no thank you that is enough. It would go into our history books that you are one of the firsts of our people that would actually give back to the community and to the society,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu, said the donation by OMF was a testament to what can be achieved through sports, stating that it was for this reason the present administration is advocating the use of sports for development of the State.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said the State Government welcomes such gestures, noting that aside government’s determination to make available all essential equipment in public hospitals, donations by public-spirited persons out of their sheer will of commitment to support government’s effort are worthy of emulation and indeed commendable.