A former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka, has embarked on 48,000 steps walk as part of activities marking his 48th birthday and bid to raise $30, 000 dollars for the families of soldiers who lost their lives in the war against Boko Haram.
Chidoka, who terminated the walk at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council’s Secretariat in Utako, made this known in an interview with journalists at the secretariat.
The former minister, who said he started the walk at about 3:30am, said: “I have covered the 48,000 steps in kilometers just to prove it is a very difficult one. My legs are totally sore and I am managing to keep up today.
“In the last three years I raised 46,000 steps at 46 years. I did it when I was 47 but this year I looked at what is going on in the country, I looked at the security situation in the country and for me whose grandfather was a soldier in the second World War and was injured and came back with one leg, I knew that if not for how the British government in Nigeria looked after him he probably would have become destitute and his children, including my mother, would probably not have gone to school.
“However, because of the support system that the government had in place and he went on to work in the ministry of defence and retired in the civilian section of the ministry after 34 years of work. So I believe that it is time for us to let our soldiers know that this county cares about them.”
The former Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) boss, who said the country was deeply divided, noted that: “The country is in a very difficult situation and we would like situation where the soldiers would understand that their effort is not in vain and that the country, not just the government, care about them.
“I have met with some family members of the soldiers and I can tell you that their stories are quite disturbing, their stories are quite sad and I don’t want to pass blames, but I think all of us should peep into our humanity.
“So, I am using my 48th birthday to raise $30,000 dollars as the first step in reaching out to the families of these soldiers and helping them to settle down, take care of their children and their education and make sure that they realise that their loved ones did not die in vain.
“And for me it is not just a business of government, it is a business of every Nigerian and so this is my own little contribution.”