It’s Obi Emelonye‘s birthday on Tuesday, and the director is turning 53.
To celebrate, Obi is donating 100 coronavirus rapid testing kits and 500 surgical masks to Lagos State.
He opted for Lagos because, “Lagos is the heartbeat of Nigerian business and by dint of its population, strategic position and diversity, it is the gateway to everything, good or bad, into Nigeria”.
Sharing a low-down of his plans for his birthday, he wrote:
It is my birthday on Tuesday, the 24th of March. I will be turning a scary 53 years old. As I rushed back from Nigeria on Thursday night to escape the ban on flights to the UK, I took out time to think about what is happening in the world today and particularly, how it may affect our people in Nigeria. I asked myself what I can do to help, beyond making the now rampant instagram celebrity videos.
I chatted to my wife while still on the plane and we recounted how we were paralysed by fear in 2014 when ebola struck in Nigeria while we were on holiday there with our three children. She advised me to do something to avoid that dread for others in this desperate period.
So, I have decided, as a means to mark my 53rd birthday, to donate 100 COVID 19 Rapid testing kits and 500 surgical masks to Lagos state in their bid to fight the virus. This represents a drop in the ocean of what is required. However, we cannot leave it all to government, particularly Lagos state government, to fight this menace. If we do our parts and contribute our little quotas, maybe we can defeat this disease that threatens us all.
Some people may ask, why Lagos? Lagos is the heart beat of Nigerian business and by dint of its population, strategic position and diversity, it is the gateway to everything, good or bad, into Nigeria. So an assistance to the Governor of Lagos state, Gov. Sanwo Olu, in his quest to keep the virus out, is tantamount to assistance to the entire Nigeria. Moreover, I am also a Lagosian, residing in, operating my business from Lagos and spending more time there than my home state- Imo. When we help humanity, the life we save maybe ours or someone close to us.
The goods have been bought through the help of my business contact in China (Robert Anumudu) and they’ll depart China on Tuesday by courier to Lagos. It is expected that they’ll be available to be delivered in less than one week. As I am presently in London, I’ll arrange for the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja- Professor Wale Oke, to deliver them to the Lagos State Government.
God bless us. God bless Nigeria.