By Yusuf Anka
“Who is the most favoured of God? He from whom the greatest good comes to His creatures.” – Prophet Muhammad
The octogenarian was spotted under his tarpaulin covered by an almond tree with his coiling left foot under his rump. He ran his frail hands over his right shin, old and wrinkled, one could see that Mallam Yahaya has really come of age; yet, he lives with a youthful heart – always agile to help others. In his Dauran community, he has hosted over seven other communities; such that he has become the God-sent, whose accommodation gives succour to many displaced persons without shelter.
Over the years, the Dauran community has witnessed intense influx of internally displaced persons. This surge in displaced persons in the community has made the rich and landlords to compete in hiking house rents. It is so pitiable that reports state that in some areas, IDPs are requested to pay as high as four thousand naira for a room per month. And each room is often inhabited by 25 to 30 persons. The escalation of price and perhaps quest for making fortune out of others’ predicament has become a lucrative business for household owners in these areas.
Surprisingly, 80-year-old Mallam Yahaya has hosted over 1000 displaced persons for free; and in some cases, he provides their feeding. While he extends these kind gestures to the IDPs, his aged voice has also become a weapon against the landlords’ exploitation of those whom they are supposed to show mercy. “If we can’t help the vulnerable, we shouldn’t exploit them because of our economic powers; for with that we have lost our humanity and we are as bad as the ones displacing them,” he once remarked.
In the last seven years, Mallam Yahaya said IDPs have kept trooping into his house; such that he has no option than to keep his homes open always. So far, more than a thousand IDPs have been hosted at his personal residence and other compounds he has bought or built during his days as an active farmer. Farming had been his major source of income until lately that it has almost become impossible due to age and other social demands.
Mallam Yahaya neither has political ambition nor does he expect to curry favours from the government. He simply does his part in helping others, especially IDPs for Allah’s sake. His kind act to humanity robes him in the celestial clothing of an angel when compared with his counterparts exploiting the situation. To the over 1000 displaced persons in his houses in Dauran village, Zurmi, Zamfara State, they call him a God-sent. This is in no way far from the truth. And it has gradually brought to fore the manifestation of Mother Theresa’s saying that: a life not lived for others is not a life.