Ex-Nigeria international Daniel Amokachi has opened up on why is at the front of a volunteering effort in Nigeria.
As precautions against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari extended the lockdown in major cities across the country.
And as part of his efforts to help alleviate the suffering of compatriots who have little to feed on, the ex-Nigeria forward joined forces with volunteers to distribute supplies made available by the Nigerian Red Cross – one of the West African country’s National Emergency Management Agency (Nema).
In a chat with the Everton website, the 47-year-old who is Nigeria’s football ambassador explained the drive behind his actions.
“I spoke to the [Sinoki Group] board and said in this period we should use our services to put smiles on the faces of people whose lives are on the line,” Amokachi told the Everton website.
“About 80 per cent of people in Nigeria have to work to be paid to sustain their lives. Without work, they do not eat in the evening.
“We spoke to our friends and [business] partners and have agreed to keep supplying packs of food through the lockdown.
“There is a Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 under the NEMA. It includes agencies on the front line, like the Red Cross, police, road safety and civil defence.
“We have a pass to allow us out during lockdown to deliver food and we are working practically all day.
“The situation in the Third World is extremely tough. Our government has announced measures for food to be distributed and money paid into everybody’s accounts.
“It is a good move but we are waiting for it to be implemented and people need help now.
“What we are doing is just being human.”
At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Amokachi played a stirring role as Johannes Bonfrere’s men beat Brazil and Argentina to the gold medal.
He went further stating that his demigod rank at home would count for nothing if he didn’t employ it for philanthropic purposes.
“I was born and grew up in the ghetto, I know what hardship is,” he continued.
“My neighbourhood in Kaduna is about 1km from where I was born and I still live in the heart of my community.
“I learned from my father growing up. We have seven in the family but in our home we had more than 50 people.
“My father would open his house to everybody and put children in schools.
“It is being human to feel the pain others go through and it is a grace from heaven to do what you do [have the power to help]. It is something we enjoy doing and will keep doing.
“When I am out [delivering food parcels], people say, ‘I watched you since you were young but today is the first time I have physically seen you’.
“But my name is old and football is a long way from my thoughts.”
Source: News update