ACA Class of ’87 Set and its unparalleled humanitarian services

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

If there is an association that takes humanitarian services as a priority in this country and beyond, it’s the Aquinas College Akure Class of ’87, with its membership cutting across the globe.

This unique class has done several great humanitarian services in the past, and it’s still doing it to help the less-privileged members, old students, and former teachers. 

The ACA Class of ’87 Set as an association doesn’t have a formal executive committee but has achieved a lot in giving scholarships, empowerment, and monetary support to its members in Nigeria. 

According to a prominent member of the association, Aqr Oluwasomi Tope Sunday, who is based in the United States of America, membership in the humanitarian association extends to the US, Canada, the UK, Asia, Africa, and Nigeria.

According to Aqr. Oluwasomi, in an interview with this newspaper, the aims are to give back to the school, help the less privileged members, and socialize together. 

When asked about what the association has done to reach out to the less privileged, Oluwasomi said, “I won’t want to mention names because we don’t do such. But I will mention a few of our activities towards helping each other and the school.”

He said, “Firstly, let’s mention how we do come up with our contributions. We have an unwritten rule: our contributions are gifts of love, and we don’t levy on each other because individuals contribute according to what they can afford. Some will contribute as little as N1,000, while some will contribute well over N200,000. Participation is what matters most to us, not the amount that each of us contributes.” 

“Individuals do help members in their businesses, giving out as much as #600,000 to a few members. One of our members once gave #500,000 to another member for equipment to upgrade his business. Another member had also given out an Android phone to a member so that he could join our platform and participate. 

“We have helped members pay their hospital bills on many occasions. We lost a member recently after paying his hospital bill, and we also gave his wife over a million naira to start up something three months after the burial. 
One of our members, through his family foundation, gave the three kids of the deceased scholarship up to the university level.”

“Recently, one of our members had issues; we came together and had to relocate him to Akure from Lagos and sponsored a gas project that cost over N4 million to start a good life. There was an old student, a junior to us (although he didn’t meet us in the school), who had health issues, and within two days we contributed a million naira for him to help his life.”

“Earlier this year, we celebrated one of our teachers (a mathematics teacher) by giving him half a million naira to celebrate his 80th birthday. 

“Anytime members are burying their parents, we contribute to help, and the least we give is approximately N600,000.

“Our members in the Diaspora are always ready and have been helping to get our members settled down whenever they move abroad. Also, we have helped a few of our members to get visas to the US, UK, and Canada.”

“Right now, we are planning the celebration of our graduation from the school after 37 years. It is going to be an event to give back to the school we are all proud of.”

Another prominent member of the association, Aqr. Olatunji Ojo, also known as Teejay, spoke in an interview with this newspaper, spoke about the association, saying, “We are members of the ACAOSA 82/87 set. We have over 130 members on our platform. We have two platforms: one is the general platform, where we have general discussions and throw regular banter. The other is called welfare, where we only deliberate on welfare’s related issues. The platform was created in May 2017. Since the group was created, we have contributed enormously to supporting one another.”

Aqr. Olatunji Ojo added that “ironically, we don’t have a structured leadership structure, but we have been able to achieve all these with mutual understanding. We don’t levy ourselves, but all the donations have been purely voluntary. 

“Last year alone, we collectively contributed over N10 million naira towards the school projects, financial assistance for our mates parents’ funerals, financial assistance to establish one of our mates to set up a sustainable business, etc. 

“Individually, we have been there for one another, which can’t be quantified in terms of finance alone. In addition, we do organise end-of-year programmes where lectures are given to educate ourselves on health-related issues prevalent among men and people in general. These lectures were delivered by professionals amongst us.”

He pressed further that this interview is not just intended to showcase their achievements but also to encourage other old student groups to give back to their alma mater and, particularly, to be there for one another, which is paramount.

Aquinarian Olatunji Ojo, on behalf of the members, seized the opportunity to appreciate the effort of Aqr Taiwo Olusoga (Sogaro) for his accountability with regards to the finances. Accountability goes a long way in bringing more of the members on board to participate in the contributions.

Meanwhile, one of the beneficiaries of the association’s humanitarian services who could be reached at the time of filing this report, Aqr. Idowu Oriku told this newspaper that the association has been very supportive since they became aware of his predicaments.

Aqr. Idowu Oriku, who described ACA Class ’87 as the best thing that had happened to him, appreciated the members for all they had done to lift him out of poverty. He prayed for them and asked God to also show them mercy.

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