HEART OF GOLD SUPER EAGLE, MOSES SIMON GIVES BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY

HEART OF GOLD SUPER EAGLE, MOSES SIMON GIVES BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY
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Super Eagles’ forward Moses Simon has felt compelled, for the second time in seven months, to come to the aid of his community in Nigeria.

The 25-year-old has financed the installation of a drainage system and the construction of the main road to help tackle flooding in Benue.

Last September Simon, who plays in France for Ligue 1 side Nantes, funded the building of water pumps in his village, Obagaji Agatu, to halt the community’s age-long reliance on a stream for potable water.

A water pump financed by Nigeria’s Moses Simon in his home village of Obagaji Agatu

The lack of access to some of the most basic necessities in his father’s hometown of Obagaji Agatu and other communities is something that bothers Simon.

“It’s important to step in where the politicians have decided not to help,” Simon, who now has a street named after him, told BBC Sport Africa.

“Imagine in 2021 we are talking of people without potable water and desperately praying for protection ahead of the rains and floods.

“These people deserve more from the government because they put all their trust in them only to be disappointed.

“As sports people we can all do more to make our people happy, some are already doing and very supportive of their community but we can’t stop.”

The head of the community, James Ucheche, said he was touched by the footballer’s decision to again extend a helping hand to the area.

“We cannot thank Moses Simon enough for his amazing works as he continues to go way beyond alleviating the challenges of his people,” he said.

“He personally provided three boreholes for the community. Not a non-governmental organisation, but an individual who wants the development of his community.

“We are grateful and thankful for this incredible gesture to sank boreholes, fix the road and install a drainage system.”

A bulldozer helping build a road financed by Nigeria’s Moses Simon in his home village of Obagaji Agatu

Born and bred in Kaduna state in the northern part of Nigeria, Simon has previously carried out several philanthropic projects especially in Southern Kaduna and in Benue state.

He also stepped in to ease the impact of the coronavirus on the community by making contribution to some families living in financial hardship during the lockdown.

He follows in the footsteps of current football stars doing charitable work, including the likes of Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Ndidi, William Troost-Ekong, Oghenekaro Etebo and Odion Ighalo.

In 2017 Ighalo, the top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, built an orphanage to cater for children in his country.

The Ighalo Orphanage Home in Ijegun, an island suburb north of Lagos, reportedly cost the Saudi-based striker US$1.4 million .

It houses between 30 to 40 children and has separate apartments for boys and girls.

They take abandoned babies and pledge to look after them – with the approval of the state authority – until they reach 18, teaching academic studies and sports.

-Oluwashina Okeleji/BBC

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