A Central Nigerian activist, Mr. Maqual George Michael has earned an award for the most effecient social media crusade and activism in Plateau State. Maqual got the award in last Monday’s Plateau Social Media Awards held in Jos.
The award followed public online votes. Several top politicians were listed in the category. But Maqual’s influence goes beyond fame and affluence. He is the Deputy Registrar (Junior Staff Establishment), College of Education, Gindiri, with but a Masters degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
However, in his 20year educational career, Maqual has influenced employment especially in Gindiri College of Education, as well as admission for hundreds of poor youths. Despite low income, Maqual has independently funded dozens of students, even for Doctorate degrees, a qualification he has yet to obtain.
“I am still making efforts to, if not sponsor, influence government sponsorship for more youths to go for higher studies. Especially those with Masters Degrees, none of them should get to my age (55yrs) without a Doctorate if I have my way,” he said.
A former Youth official and current patron, Maqual spends much time advocating for youth development. On or outside social media, the former Senior Special Adviser to the Plateau State Governor, speaks bluntly on dangers of youth exclusion from governance.
“I believe that every youth has something to offer in the development of our dear nation. But such can only be harnessed if we invest in them. Personally, I try to identify youths who have the potentials and do all I can to encourage them for progress and for social justice,” said Maqual.
Maqual grew up in a village, Kuba, in Bokkos area of Plateau State, surviving through peasant farming and artisanal mining. But his goal is not to earn the world, but live in people’s hearts after death.
“I only have one house in the city. In the village, I stay in my father’s house. But I need no more. I only want to help those who are oppressed by circumstances to grow even beyond me; that way, I will live in their hearts even when I am gone – and to me that is the greatest wealth,” he said.
Many who have higher influence and affluence especially in his home local government are unable to affect lives the way he does. But Maqual says he simply prays for them “to realize the harm they are doing to the future of their children and children’s children”.
He queried, “If these children they are refusing to help later rise to the positions of power – politically or economically, will they be approached for any help? If they do not even grow and they end up becoming nuisance in the society, will they be happy to live in it?”