Al Bonnie of the Traverse City Noon Rotary Club brought and introduced Ayuba Gufwan of Anglo-Jos Nigeria to our club Tuesday September 10th. Ayuba contracted Polio at age 5 but didn't let it stop him. At 19 he entered school for the first time and finished with a Law Degree. However he didn't want to make Law his life's work.

He started the "Beautiful Gate handicapped People Center" to build wheelchairs for those suffering from the ravages of Polio in Nigeria. Nigeria in one of three countries where Polio still exists and cannot be eradicated because of the teachings of the Muslim Imams who preach the Vaccine is designed to prevent Muslim women from bearing children.


Ayuba and his staff of 6 other Polio victims have built and distributed over 7,000 wheelchairs to children in Nigeria. Their criteria for giving someone a wheelchair is first they must be in school or of school age working to learn a trade, not a beggar in the larger cities or over 50 and again not begging. He stated his goal was to have "no children crawling on the ground".

Ayuba told us his facility to build the wheelchairs is open to the weather and they lose over 2-1/2 month of production time per year to rain. They are trying to build a new facility to increase production but there is no help form the government. All funds to build wheelchairs or the new facility come from private donations from either religious groups or rotary.

When asked which he needed more money for wheelchairs or money for the facility he said he if he had to make a choice he would choose building wheelchairs at this time although a new facility would increase their production by about 15%.

When asked about the prevalence of new cases of Polio in Nigeria Al Bonnie said his latest figures show 60 new cases through June of this year but that was down 30% from last year.

As we all know the eradication of Polio is and has been the main focus of Rotary International for years and yet is still exists in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. For those who contract the disease a wheelchair is the next best option.