With the recent premiere of the season 2 of Touching Lives in the nation’s capital Abuja, leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, appears to be sending two distinct signals – its unwavering commitment to uplift the less privileged, and the need for more Nigerians including corporate organisations, governments and NGOs to rise up to uplift the down-trodden.
These messages were so clear that they did not just resound in the speech of the Guest of Honour, Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo but also resonated with just everyone in the audience at the expansive Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton.
Mrs. Osinbajo recalled the pitiable condition of Nigerians at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri and the sheer hardship, trauma and deep pains they contend with on a daily basis.
“I just left the IDP camp in Maiduguri some few hours ago. It is emotionally devastating and very painful to see mothers without children, fathers without wives and children without parents…. We are told that the colour of love is red. But the red of the heart needs to stop the river of red, the river of blood that flows in this land.”
She lamented the pitiable situation of many Nigerians, calling on the privileged to come together in assisting those who are in deep poverty or suffering for other reasons, including man’s inhumanity to man. She noted that she has set-up shelter homes to address some of the challenges faced by Nigerians especially women.
While Mrs. Osinbajo is pained by the sufferings of Nigerians and also offering different interventions to ease these pains, she wants privileged Nigerians to do more, to pay more attention and to act to liberate, empower and uplift the needy.
She commended Airtel for its role in empowering Nigerians, noting that the Airtel Touching Lives programme has positively touched the lives of many underprivileged Nigerians, urging other Nigerians to emulate Airtel in reaching out to the downtrodden, hard to reach, internally displaced persons and other Nigerians in need of help.
“Support for those suffering and underprivileged should not be left in the hands of Airtel alone. It is the responsibility of us all. I was particularly touched by the Season 1 story of the Chime family whose children suffered various forms of physical disabilities. It shows that more attention and concern need to be shown to the less privileged people who are part of the society,” she said.
Remi Abere who led a team of six women to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise funds to support IDPs in Nigeria also commended Airtel Nigeria for its continued support towards the needy through the Airtel Touching Lives platform.
Airtel Touching Lives is an inspiring corporate social responsibility initiative that seeks to offer practical relief, succour, hope, opportunities and credible platforms to liberate and empower the underprivileged, disadvantaged and hard to reach persons in the society.
Speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, urged Nigerians to join efforts in supporting humanitarian causes.
“To promote the spirit of giving, we must build a society where the rich must support the poor. It means giving to someone who cannot give to us in return, that is the whole essence of Airtel Touching Lives,” he said.
Aside his speech, Mr. Ogunsanya was able to connect with the audience as he emphasized on the need for the strong to support the weak and the privileged to support the underprivileged. According to him, this is one sure way to make Nigeria a better society.
The event had several dignitaries in attendance including the majority leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Sen. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications; Hon. Saheed Fijabi, Chairman, House Committee on Communications and Hon. Ujam Chukwuemeka, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Communications.
Others were Honourable Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister, Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalong; United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassdor and former First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi; Indian High Commissioner, A. Ghanashyam and British Deputy High Commissioner, Simon Shercliff, among several others.
The Airtel Touching Lives Season 2 is a 13-epidose programme, which features 24 emotion-evoking stories it is anchored by popular On-Air-Personality, Wana Udobang.
Broadcast of the programme commenced on Sunday, 17th January, 2016 on Africa Magic Channel 151 by 7.30-8.00pm. Repeats of the episodes are aired on Africa Magic Family 154 on Saturdays 8pm to 8.30pm; Africa Magic Urban on Thursdays 7.30pm to 8.00pm; AIT on Sundays by 6.30pm to 7pm; NTA on Wednesdays by 8.30pm to 9.00pm and Arewa 24 TV on Sundays by 7.00pm to 7.30pm.