Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Traveling for a Cause: A man's Solo Trek

A journey of a thousand miles start with a single step. That single step taken from Lagos has landed 33 year old Hashimu Suleiman in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital where he hopes to meet with the president-elect. He had promised that as a form of celebration, he would walk from Lagos to Abuja if General Muhammadu Buhari gets elected as president of Nigeria in the just concluded March 2015 presidential election.
And now, after 13 days of solo trekking and using 5 pairs of canvass shoes, 33 year old Suleiman has make good that promise.

For those who do not understand the landscape of Nigeria, according to google map, Lagos to Abuja is 662km and 135 hours (5-6 days) on foot, 747km and 9 hours by driving and about 1 hour by air.

Detractors have said he couldn’t do it, people have mocked him, he has been called a liar and labelled a cheat, skeptics didn’t give him a chance, but he has remained focused to his task and cause.
He has raised the bar, challenged himself, challenged Nigerians and challenged the president-elect to keep his own promise to Nigerians.

Many have questioned if he truly walked, some even contested if it was humanly possible. On social media, I read comments like “what point does he want to prove”, “is it humanly possible”, “I don’t believe a man in his right sense will walk from Lagos to Abuja”. These are just a few of the comments. But I have seen Fulani cattle rearers traveling down from far north to the south with their cattle. I think it would be unfair to downplay his efforts and rub him off his success.

Some people may not understand the enormous nature of this feat, but when you view it from the background of the Nigerian situation…the insecurity in the country, the perils of the road, then we’ll begin to understand and appreciate what he has achieved.

Kings have welcomed him, people has walked and marched with him, he is fast becoming an internet sensation, his story is going viral, and his arrival in Abuja caused a traffic gridlock.
For those of us who constantly believe it is not possible, take a cue from this man, he has defied the odds.

Dear TravelArmy readers, followers and well-wishers, don’t just sit there doing nothing, don’t just sit planning and imagining…start doing! Be your own one man army today …start writing that book, get back to that blog, start studying for that exam today, practice more, rehearse longer, enroll in that program, start that business, apply for that admission…take a step today, just start NOW.

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