NaijaSubway Honorable of the Week (Nigeria) – Mallam Garba Buzu
A philanthropist. A Teacher. One of a kind. – You will find people who are good, but what if you find a God-sent?
Garba Buzu, a humble, sincere and strict 77-year-old Muslim businessman, and a realtor based in Pompomari, Maiduguri. Borno state, Nigeria.
A father of 25 children from four wives who is always wearing a puzzling smile, always with his prayer beads, and with reverence from everyone when he walks by. “Bundi” is what people say, which means “Blessings”.
He who after witnessing the plight of children suffering without food and shelter, opened the gates of his 2,000-home property to people displaced by attacks from the insurgents, even though his philanthropic work in the past has prompted death threats from the Islamist militants.
He would receive massive numbers of visitors every day with a personal obligation to make sure they do not go unsatisfied.
Buzu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview in his home that, “They can stay for as long as they need to, both Muslims and Christians are welcome…”
Speaking to LA Times in a different interview, he said “Charity is mandated in Islam as an act of purification”
Saying that people could stay in his property until Boko Haram finishes, even if that happened after he died.
Buzu’s decision to help people has not gone unnoticed or down well with the militants whose campaign to set up an Islamic state adhering to strict Sharia law has deep roots in Nigeria’s Christian/Muslim divide.
While many of the people arriving in Maiduguri manage to find accommodation with host families, some end up living in camp sites on plots of empty land where thousands of cases of disease and malnutrition have been reported
The situation was a concern for Buzu, who owns several properties across the city. He decided to relocate all the tenants in his Buzu Quarters estate to other estates he owned that were not fully occupied and threw open the doors to people forced out from their homes.
As generous as Buzu is, No one can enter the Garba Buzu estate without proper Identification to avoid infiltration by the Boko Haram Insurgents.
More than 200 household receive micro-gardening support from the income-generation activities under a project funded by the USA agency for international development.
Mallam Garba Buzu is a worthy selection of our Honorable of the Week, seeing him as one of the few that still believes in humanity.
Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation & LA Times
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