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Back to school project: ‘How Police, ‘Biafrans’ nearly killed us’

..World Wrapperman, adventurer who ran from Lagos to Delta in 11 days to raise funds for schools

UGHELLI— A 47-year-old adventurer, Adjarho David Obaro, popularly known as World Wrapperman, hoisting a Nigerian flag with a 23-yard wrapper tied round his waist, sprinted from Lagos to Delta State in 11 days with a 24-year-old marathon professional, Afeez Akande, in their stunning bid to raise funds for an innovative Back-to-School project in three states, Delta, Edo and Enugu.

The campaign, which took off January 9 in Lagos almost turned tragic at Ijebu Ode, Ondo State, when they narrowly escaped death in the hands of a group of men and women, numbering over 15, who identified themselves as Biafrans. They were queried for carrying the Nigerian flag and at Warri, Delta State, some policemen threatened to shoot them.

Pro-Biafrans

Four schools, namely, UNISS Christian Academy, Agbarha-Otor, Ughelli; Ebenezer Primary School, Benin-City; Government College, Ughelli and Institute of Management Technology, IMT, Enugu are the selected schools to benefit from the Back to School project.

World Wrapperman, who raced from Lagos to Abuja in 2015 on behalf of five NGOs, told NDV that it was his little way of giving back to his alma mater, as well as raise an awareness of Nigerians to contribute their quota to the development of their respective alma matas.

How it works: On how the project is funded, Wrapperman said: “Each step taken from Lagos to Delta is worth N500 or its equivalent in United States dollars and these monies are reinvested back into the project.

Back to School project

We do not just give the schools the monies; we monitor the projects that would be embarked on in these schools and they must be projects of utmost priority.

“It would amaze you to note that before we left the International Stadium at Lagos, our first 200 steps were already sold. All I did was just telling people my course and if they believe in it, I urge them to buy my steps and support the course. We are still selling as the Back to School project is not a one off thing.

“Even as we are speaking, I am planning to do a tour to sensitize people on the need to go back to school, it is not all about me and the selected schools picked. It is a Nigerian thing, hence we need to start giving back to our schools because when we do, invariably we would start giving to other things in our immediate society.”

‘A failed expedition from the onset’

Giving details of how the journey started, Wrapperman said: “Armed with our luggage, N5,000 in collaboration with a 24-year-old marathon professional named Afeez Akande, when we left Lagos on January 9, I could tell the journey was doomed, but we were resilient and kept pushing on because as an adventurer, I believed in my course.

“We embarked on a minimum of 900 steps per kilometre to get to Ughelli in 11 days time. To actualize this, we covered 25 kilometres in the morning, another 25 kilometres at sunset totaling 50 kilometres per day and burnt over 12, 000 calories each day. Most times, we continue our journey from 10.00 p.m into the early hours of the morning.”

Security agencies denied us protection

On the challenges encountered, Wrapperman said: “Though we tried getting human security in terms of the Police and other security agencies, they failed us, so we relied on God to protect us and He did not fail. One of such times He was there for us was when we narrowly missed being lynched by a group of men and women numbering 15 at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, who identified themselves as Biafrans and queried us for carrying the Nigerian flag.

“We were just looking for a place to rest when they accosted us, they asked us why we are carrying the Nigerian flag and this was in broad day light, along the major road. While they were manhandling us, Afeez immediately started tweeting the incident, demanding for Police protection, but unfortunately for us, the police was nowhere to be found.

Row with police in Warri

“Help actually came our way through the assistance of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, branch there who came and calmed the situation. Also, at about 6.00 p.m on a particular day while heading to Ughelli from Warri, at the DSC Roundabout, we faced similar treatment, but this time from a team of police officers at a police checkpoint, who threatened to shoot us for failing to scurry up to them when they barked at us to run to them, but still, God took charge of the situation, following the intervention of a concerned Nigerian, who had earlier heard of our project.

“When people see us, they get scared and think we are mental. There were two nights that we slept without food and one of those nights, we burnt 12, 233 calories. We were able to check the amount of calories burnt with the use of a device used in the measurement of the distance covered and calories burnt.”

Rousing welcome at GCU

Despite the challenges, it was an exciting welcome for Wrapperman and Afeez at Government College Ughelli, one of the schools to benefit from their back to school project. Their arrival coincided with the 2017 inter-house sports games of the school as old boys, staff and students of the institution came out in their numbers to welcome them.


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