I-C-I-Nigeria: Good deeds without politics

June 5, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Kristian Buus photo



Prince Charles Dickson



And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV


“On every person’s joints or small bones (i.e. fingers and toes), there is sadaqah (charity) every day the sun rises. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)



For a nation that prides itself as being secular and embittered by two faiths fighting a popularity war, one wonders where good deeds have travelled to.


And at a time when everything you read and see, the television, radio, the internet and all its social platforms have one thing and everything to do with politics and elections ala 2019. Nothing about governance begs for all the PR stunts, half-truths, misinformation and propaganda. The ordinary citizenry simply suffers the maladministration and system malfunction.


To busy my thoughts out of the polity I stumbled on this “World Cup PR Stunt Goes Wrong.”


The whole gist is captured in The Independent that “MasterCard has faced a backlash on social media over its “disgusting” campaign to donate 10,000 meals to starving children every time footballers Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr score.


The credit card company announced it would donate the equivalent value of the meals to the World Food Programme (WFP) for children in Latin America and the Caribbean each time the football stars net a goal between now and March 2020.


But, despite the campaign being backed by Messi and Neymar, it instantly sparked outrage on Twitter, with some likening the “horrible publicity stunt” to the fictitious Hunger Games, and many suggesting MasterCard should just hand over the money if it can afford to.


“If you’ve got the money @MasterCard, just give it away anyway,” one person said. “Don’t let the fate of starving children rest on multimillionaire footballers.”


“This is absolutely disgusting,” said another. “Give them the food anyway.”


Others also raised concerns that it would put a lot of pressure on the two forwards’ shoulders to score and also on the keepers, who would effectively be denying starving children free meals if they save potential goals. They only reminded me of the renewed vigour with which Nigerian politicians are in the business of good deeds towards 2019…shame on us.



For once I will delve into faith, dogma and doctrine. In Islam, speaking of having good character and performing good deeds is very important in the religion that every Muslim must perform for pleasing Almighty Allah. Allah says in the Holy Quran about righteous deeds: “Whoever works righteousness whether male or female while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment, and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)” (Quran, 16:97).


From the above verse, we can say that when we perform good deeds for the sake of Almighty Allah then we will get Paradise as a reward. Therefore, the committing of good deeds actually stands for a person making his or her life better and it also helps Muslims to become closer to Allah. Islam is the religion of society it expects from its followers to develop a society where every individual work towards helping and taking care of each other and where everyone should do good deeds for the sake of Allah Almighty. Islam has given the instructions those have the objective that people could change their lives for better and continue living it in a better manner.


Doing a deed and doing the deed with good intention are separate things. The intention that doing this deed will reward a Muslim with virtues and help to attain the mercy of Allah in this world and afterward then this surely is a base that Allah will accept the deed and will reward accordingly. Holy Prophet (SAW) said about the intention of good deeds in a way: “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” (Sahih Bukhari)


So, a person who wants to get reward and blessings from Almighty Allah should perform good deeds with good intention.


In Christianity I recall telling someone that, “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.” I liked it; it’s a great reminder. In the book of Acts, Luke summarized Jesus’ earthly ministry by saying that He “went about doing good” (10:38).


What does the Bible mean when it tells us to “do good”? Jesus did good by teaching, healing, feeding, and comforting people. Using Jesus as the perfect example, His followers are called to meet the needs of others, including those who hate them: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you” (Matt. 5:44; see also Luke 6:27-35). They are to serve their enemies without expecting anything in return.


Moreover, as opportunity arises, His followers are to do good especially to fellow believers (Gal. 6:10). They are not to let persecution, selfishness, and busyness cause them to forget to do good and to share what they have with others (Heb. 13:16).


To be like our Savior and His early followers, we should ask ourselves each day: “What good thing can I do today in Jesus’ name?” When we do good, we will be offering a sacrifice that pleases God (Heb. 13:16) and that draws people to Him (Matt. 5:16).



So, should I start from the fact that there were no Nigerian players or even our rave of the moment Mo Salah in the MasterCard campaign? No, I won’t rave or rant on that. However follow me to a small village in Bassa or a community in Riyom, or another in Rikkos, or is it in Anglo Jos, all in Plateau state.


A small group of Nigerians and indeed non-Nigerians devoid of ethnic or faith colorations with help from amongst themselves decided to touch lives yet again, they have done it for almost ten years. Yes, the Islamic Counseling Initiative of Nigeria (ICIN) and NASCO did it, have been doing it.


The food basket did not need players to score goals or government feeding propaganda. The program exposes the need for government to pay attention to the needs of children with special needs in Bassa, it shows that government can do more than it mouths when as a result of Corporate Social Responsibility NASCO makes sure that malaria is curbed by providing mosquito treated nets and other allied health services free of cost to the community.


Using ICIN as a vehicle they continue to provide livelihood support to both men and women through trainings and take off grants.


At the School for the Deaf, it was sad to see that they lacked teachers for various subjects, amenities and infrastructure that would aid learning and sharing amongst this set of children in society. Very strong children despite the prevalence of hunger in the school. They still had graduates with courage making a difference. One recalls the beautiful damsel Juliana, only in J.S.S 3 who acted as interpreter, and the joy and dexterity with which she almost compeered the whole time


The friends of ICIN brought from cookies to rice, beef to noodles, biscuits just to be found worthy of good deeds. This wasn’t about IDPs and the cheap celebrity public stunt or Messi and Salah scoring a goal


It was about be part of an establishment that was helping in promoting education, adding its voice in the area of health and economic development through humanitarian services. This was about Moses a Corp Member; taking shots. It was Iliyazu and his Muryar Amurka, it was about Safiya, Aisha, Mairo, Fati, Amina Nana, Halima, Zubeida, the Nasredeens, and Tunde, Mohammed, Mallam Saeed and all the good hearts in Nigeria doing their good deeds.


When one thinks politics and there are no good deeds and intents, all APC, PDP and 2019, no good governance, no plans or systems put in place to tackle societal issues, one cannot but see why the road to nationhood seems long, how long though—Only time will tell.






Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.

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