In the wake of Nollywood actor John Okafor, famously known as Mr. Ibu, reaching out for help due to health issues, Nigerians have taken to social media to express their discontent over the lack of support from notable figures and celebrate a surprising intervention.
Mr. Ibu, a beloved figure in the Nigerian entertainment industry, had recently disclosed his battle with an undisclosed ailment that could potentially lead to the amputation of his legs. In response, concerned Nigerians have been calling on affluent citizens, politicians, and celebrities to assist the actor during his challenging times.
Amidst growing concern, the foundation associated with former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced that it had stepped in to cover Mr. Ibu’s medical expenses. The foundation made this revelation through a statement posted on their Facebook page.
The statement read, “The Abubakar Bukola Saraki Foundation is honored to have extended support to Mr. John Okafor, also known as Mr. Ibu, a renowned comedic icon who has graced our screens and brought joy and laughter to countless homes over the past four decades. The Abubakar Bukola Saraki Foundation has fully covered the medical expenses of the renowned Nollywood actor, John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu. When we learned of his recent health challenges and the financial burdens associated with his medical treatment, we felt a deep sense of responsibility to assist in any way we could. We promptly paid off his entire medical expenses as of Wednesday. We encourage everyone who can to come forward and assist in any capacity, whether it’s through financial contributions, moral support, or prayers. We wish him a swift and complete recovery.”
This generous act by the Bukola Saraki Foundation was met with expressions of joy from Nigerians who were deeply concerned about Mr. Ibu’s health. However, it also ignited a wave of criticism, particularly aimed at Peter Obi, a 2023 presidential candidate from the Labour Party, as well as affluent individuals and celebrities who were seemingly absent during Mr. Ibu’s time of need.
Some netizens accused Peter Obi of failing to support Mr. Ibu, despite the actor’s past backing for his presidential campaign. Additionally, self-proclaimed billionaires in the Southeast faced reproach for not extending help to the ailing actor.
A selection of reactions from social media users included:
- @Muyieto commented, “Wow… This really a strong message to Nigerians. None see this coming! Attention was on celebrities to raise the funds. How God works beyond human understanding. Big-time lesson.”
- @BolajokoOlayemi expressed frustration with Peter Obi, saying, “Shame on PO and his co-GBAJUEs. After all the hullabaloo and sleepless nights, this guy went through cuz of PO, the GBAJUE turned a deaf ear to his plight as if nothing dey sup chai!!! This life no balance at all.”
- @Orinatebriggs questioned the big shot musicians and their promises to help, stating, “Where are the big shot musicians whose names were all over social media claiming to help him? I guess there’s a big difference between doing and saying I will do.”
The intervention by the Bukola Saraki Foundation has sparked a debate on empathy, regional dynamics, and the responsibility of influential individuals in times of crisis. While the gesture has been widely appreciated, it has also exposed the need for more comprehensive community support for individuals facing medical hardships.