A business mogul and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Otunba Bamidele Akingboye, has revealed that he has extended his philanthropic gestures to the poor and vulnerable citizens across the 18 local governments of Ondo State to cushion the effect of COVID-19 without publicity.
Akingboye hinted the people of Ondo State in a chat with newsmen on Tuesday, in Okitipupa town, headquarters of Okitipupa local government in Ondo State.
When asked his plans for the people of Ondo during this era of lockdown, he said:
”As a Christian, I don’t like disclosing to the public whenever I give anything to the poor or vulnerable people, especially at a time like this. I personally do not subscribe to such act because it is against the biblical teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I am a philanthropist. I give regularly to the poor and needy. I didn’t just start during this era of coronavirus pandemic. A lot of people are benefiting from my annual scholarship scheme through the OBA Foundation. I have their data. Many of them are graduates today. We have our health intervention programmes, among other programmes.
”Recently, I gave out over 10 vehicles to empower people and none is worth less than N2.5 million. I have always been supporting the weak, artisans, traders and small scale business owners. I even set up businesses for some people from scratch by giving them the capital to start up. But because we don’t publicize our philanthropic gesture, people tend to assume I have not been doing anything.”
”I don’t like making my philanthropic gesture a public affair. The idea behind such humanitarian services is not to score cheap popularity but to touch lives positively and meaningfully. But this doesn’t mean that those publicizing theirs are wrong, some of them also have their reasons.”
”Do you know I have disbursed millions of naira since this lockdown started. The first set of disbursement was done through my foundation “OBA Foundation” (between Friday 10, to Sunday, April 10, 2020. I prioritized the aged, widows, orphans and others in the same category as the major beneficiaries of my cash gifts and no beneficiary received less than N10,000.
”As a matter of fact, I still gave out to about 23 people this morning and I don’t know how many of them will still be in need before the day runs out. Of course, this is how it will continue so far God still gives me the capacity.”
”I am compelled to speak to you because of this your question and to also correct the erroneous impression being created by some people on the social media,” he said.
When quizzed on the rationale behind his choice of cash to food and other relief materials, he said ” I prefer giving out cash so that beneficiaries can make informed decision on what to do with it. They know their needs more than I do,” Akingboye added.
He also said most donors have given out food items like rice, beans and garri. As such, many people may not need those items again. He claimed the distribution of cash has reduced the stress and cost of transportation to the 18 LGAs in Ondo State.