Ailing and homeless abroad for four years, a Nigerian, Benjamin Sesan Ojo, returned home from Trinidad and Tobago at the weekend after being rescued by wife of Osun State Governor Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola.
Ojo was in distress with his six-year-old daughter before being spotted by Mrs. Oyetola, who facilitated help for them with her Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), the Ileri Oluwa Development Initiative (IODI).
He arrived without his daughter, who Mrs. Oyetola is facilitating her return.
Ojo was accompanied on his journey from Port of Spain by the Consular of the Nigerian High Commission to Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Essien Akpan.
The envoy promised full support for the process to bring back Ojo’s daughter.
Ojo expressed joy after “finally stepping foot on Nigerian soil alive” and thanked Mrs. Oyetola for not giving up on him “despite hindrances”.
He said: “I thank the governor’s wife for not giving up on me; she went through a lot before this trip became a reality.
“I also thank the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr. Remi Omowaiye, for his concern and efforts.
“I thank the Ambassador and the Consul; they were all good to me. I know this happened because God wants it to happen this way.”
Ojo described Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Alhaji Hassan Jika Ardo, as a father.
The returnee, who is suffering from an undisclosed ailment affecting one side of his body and which has caused his veins to shrink, will also get free medical care, courtesy of the governor’s wife.
Mrs. Oyetola had concluded arrangements for Ojo to undergo treatment at the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife following which he will be reintegrated into the society and reconciled with his family.
Mrs. Oyetola, it was also learnt, engaged in the humanitarian service in her personal capacity while working on rehabilitating him privately.
Her representative, Mrs. Abiola Babatunde Ojo, wife of the member representing Oriade Constituency in the House of Assembly, received Ojo on his return.
The Ilesa, Osun State-born Ojo, lived in Trinidad and Tobago for 12 years and was married to a Trinidadian.
But he experienced hard times, lost his home and fell ill for over three years. Without a job and source of livelihood, he had no means of returning home.
Ojo also lost his wife almost two years ago. Unable to fend for himself, he became a burden to people, making him to seek help to return home.
Having lost contact with his Nigerian family after moving across 10 countries without legal documentation, Ojo made a video in September 2019, which he posted online.
It went viral and came to Mrs. Oyetola’s notice, who, as she had been doing for homeless people for over 15 years, came to his rescue.