By Busola Samuel
The 2016 Eld-ul-Adha celebration has come and gone. One of the greatest experiences that linger in the mind of everyone across the country is the social responsibility of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges Foundation (NTIC Foundation) to the indigent ones, vulnerable and the orphans in the society and this, according to many of many of the beneficiaries including the Ogun and Lagos states government representatives present at the Sallah Meat Distribution this year, is worthy of emulation.
While addressing journalists during the meat distribution held at the NTIC Foundation Headquarters, situated along Lagos –Ibadan Expressway, Principal of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges Ogun State Branch, Mr. Ercan Yilmaz, made it known that the NTIC Foundation had been involved in the annual meet distribution event for more than one decade reaching out to thousands of Nigerians of all faiths irrespective of color, religion, ethnic background during Eid-ul-Adha Sallah celebration.
On ground at the event, The DEFENDER found out that the meat was butchered, cut into huge pieces of sizeable kilograms and packaged in each polythene bag branded to depict Nigerian Turkish International Colleges Foundation. Each beneficiary went home with minimum of two or more bags depending on categories.
Yilmaz stated further that about 80 cattle were slaughtered this year in Lagos/Ogun axis alone even though, according to him, more cattle were also being slaughtered in Ilorin, Kwara State and Osogbo, Osun State. He added that the Isheri location took coordinated the entire states of South West Nigeria while cows, according to him, were also being slaughtered in Abuja, Yobe, Kaduna and Kano where NTIC operates in Nigeria.
The NTIC Ogun Branch Principal Yilmaz said: “Ogun NTIC is in charge of South West. 80 cows have been slaughtered this year and some are also being slaughtered in Ilorin, Kwara State and Osogbo, Osun State.
“The aim of NTIC Foundation really is service to humanity through unifying programmes such as this. We have Eid-ul-Adha Sallah Meat Distribution programme, Ramadan Iftar programme and even on Christmas day we reach out to indigent Christians to make them happy at celebration.
“Donors are in Turkey and we have donations for this meat distribution from our parents, staff even students willingly and anxiously donate N500, N1000 each to want to get divine reward for making people happy at Sallah and the money donated is sent in total to NTIC Foundation to buy and slaughter cows on behalf of the donors.
“Two thousand families are targeted for distributions this year on our side and we get these from among companies staff of low income, churches, mosques, civil service people who we investigate to know that their earnings are not enough to make them celebrate happily with their families at Sallah and we reached out to those beneficiaries before time. Organisations also arrange qualified beneficiaries within themselves.
“Sallah is for all people. If you think you have enough for our family, also make your fellow human beings who don’t have enough to be happy at celebration,” he said.
Asked while the number of cows dropped this year, he said, “Before this year, 90 percent of donations we used to get was coming from Turkey while only 10 percent came from Nigeria. Now, due to the challenges we have with our government in Turkey, the donations from Turkey have dropped.”
On the challenge with Turkish government, the principal said was optimistic that, “If education is good like we know that it is good, one day, people will see the truth. But I can tell you that we will be happy soon.”
Yilmaz however lamented that the problem in home country had greatly affected economic relationship between Turkey and Nigeria as, according to him, business potentials that Nigerian Turkish community in Nigeria build through which Nigerians were taken on investors-driven tours to Turkey and in return Turkish investors would come to Nigeria and put investments on ground here were no longer coming.
His words: “Nigeria has big potentials for agriculture, solid minerals and so on. Everybody in Turkey is ready to do business in Nigeria but one is watching events as they unfold,” he said, as nobody he added knew what would happen by government of his home country of Turkey if after he had come into Nigeria to invest.
Generally, NTIC Ogun Principal Mr. Ercan Yilmaz and Vice Principal Academic Mr. Olayinka Aderoju were hopeful that President Muhammadu Buhari have what it would take to ensure truce on behalf of Turkey nationals doing business in Nigeria as, according to both of the NTIC chiefs, businesses that any Turkey had operated in Nigeria was Nigerian business.