LEICESTER City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has begun distributing essential food items to less privileged families in Lagos as part of his contribution to assisting those in need during the current coronavirus lockdown.
Although Nigeria has been spared the worst excesses of the global pandemic, with just 190 cases and only two deaths so far, the government has introduced several strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes a total shutdown of activities in Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
However, the move has not been very popular with Nigerians as the lockdown has severely hurt many people who rely on daily earnings to keep body and soul together. In several Lagos neighbourhoods, local people have clashed with health officials saying no provisions have been made to provide them with food or essential items for survival.
In a bid to ameliorate the sufferings of the populace, Ndidi has started distributing bags of rice, beans, garri and semolina to households across Lagos State. Clearly the epicentre of the virus in Nigeria, Lagos State has 91 confirmed cases and although Ndidi is originally from Delta State which has no reported case, he was raised in Lagos.
Ndidi’s gifts will be distributed mainly to low income earners in Lagos State whose livelihoods have been affected as a result of the ongoing lockdown. Initial beneficiaries are residents of Ajegunle, Eti Osa Local Government Area, Ikeja Barracks and street children.
Apparently, this will not be a one-off gesture from Ndidi as the Super Eagle has put plans in place to deliver more gift items every week for the next three weeks. Ndidi once said he empathises with the poor as he grew up in a military barracks and as a kid had to hawk groundnuts on the streets of Lagos to help his family make ends meet.
His father was a military man in the Nigeria Army and the midfielder said the discipline he got in his surrounding is what led to what he is today. Ndidi, regarded as arguably one of the best midfielders in the English Premier League, is loved by many for is humble and calm nature despite earning thousands of pounds every week.
Among other things, Ndidi said that he would love to own a football academy upon the completion of his Business and Management degree programme at De Montfort University in the UK. He added that what he has in mind is a football resort, with school around it where kids can go to school and play football at the same time.