PASSION FOR SIGHT: HE EXTENDS FREE GLASSES TO 3,000
Ifeanyi Obasi, an individual citizen with his wife labour to make money and satisfy the needs of others, especially their sight. From his humble earning, he deems it proper to live for others who he feels he is better than.
The passion moved him into action in Lagos where he lives and in his native council in Abia State. In these two places and with the aid of his wife, an optometrist, they hand out prescribed glasses to Nigerians who are threatened by sight problems and need glasses to get along.
He has pursued the passion to a level that the returns of the same venture come back to haunt him for good. When sometime this year he visited his council, Arochukwu, in Abia State and met the sight needs of his kinsmen in their thousands, little did he know that the way the people would say thank you is to urge him to stand as their representative to hold their political mandate.
He said in addition that his local community of Isu in Arochukwu never had any candidate vie for the state legislature. He would want to make that history if at last he gets the nod of the CPC, the new political party led by General Muhammadu Buhari to vie.
Saturday Sun met Obasi by happenstance in the company of some persons who had eyeglass cases marked with the name of the foundation that distributes them. The holders/beneficiaries were so eager to point Obasi out of the group as the man behind their smiles with better sights.
The kind gesture for people's good sight started in Ojo, Lagos when some last year he and his wife, Dr. Awawu Obasi through the instrumentality of the DMAO Eye Foundation kicked it off with 1000 free eyeglasses for the people. They later felt it a duty to extend the kindness to their place of birth and that is 'how we went to my LGA and conducted eye test for people in Arochukwu, Ihe, Abam and Isu. In these places we gave close to 2,000 eyeglasses to the people. Through that action I discovered that one of the things my people needs most is an eye clinic to cater to their sight needs. Ironically, the closest eye clinic to the council is about a 100km away. So our people suffer so much to get to the hospital. I plan to build one for them. When actualized, it would be at a central point and not necessarily my village, Isu because my target is to make sure it reaches the needs of the people.'
But in the interim, Obasi plans to condu ct a masses eye surgery for the indigent kinsmen. 'We intend to bring experts from Kano to handle the surgery, and so far we have about 42 persons who have been certified as having either cataract or glaucoma. Through the planned surgery, their sights, by the grace of God would be restored. The move is our little way of reaching out to make our people feel us not minding our little financial strength. It is also a pointer that with better empowerment on my side, the people will definitely be better for it.'
Should his political intention, which he said is a later development arising from the pressure from his people in appreciation and not the reason the foundation started its works, he believes people with his kind of mind would make the required difference in politics and society.
'When you solve the people' health needs, you have empowered them to be productive and happy, and when they are happy, the give more to the society', he said.
Obasi believes that Buhari remains the best political bet in the nation today, a reason he chose his party as the right platform to actualize the nudge his people give him relentlessly. Already, he has thrown his hat into the ring and says he won't go back until he realises his longing to work and serve the people in higher capacities through politics and a seat in the Abia House of Assembly next year.