Connect with us


Biker’s ride for charity and philanthrophy



WE conclude our series on bikers today. Gomez Adebowale is the President of SCAN. He is a software Engineer by profession. He coordinates the activities of some biker clubs in Nigeria. He informed Bangles that the Grand Patron of Bikers is the Emir of Gombe, Malam Shehu Abubakar.

He tells us that even though many people see bikers as cultists and ritualists, this is far from the truth. He said that amongst bikers are many professionals, from pilots to doctors to Governors, Such as Former Governor Donald Duke. He explained that the only ritual that bikers have is during their training. He explained of his experience while learning how to ride. He went to a training school. he added that after training, the young bikers are expected to be ushered into the road by their teacher who rides in front. The young bikers are surrounded by older bikers and what happens is that when the young bikers are being ushered, the older ones would put them in the middle and protect them. If a young biker is swaying or losing his grip, the older biker would stabilize him or her.

This is done to initiate the young bikers the road with safety in mind. This is also to protect the young bikers from motorists by acting as buffers. When this ceremony is over and the older bikers and the teacher are sure of the ability of the young ones to ride on their own, it is at this point that they are considered trained bikers. The teacher ensures that the young bikers can control their bikes in case of emergencies without panicking or fidgeting, when riding on their own. He reiterated that this is the only initiation that bikers have. He emphasized that bikers are not cultists or ritualists. He added that the mis-perception about riders is hinged on lack of communication. He explained that it is important for motorists to understand that bikers ride in a formation such as the diamond formation; something like a convoy with a different formation. He said that it would be a welcome development if motorists  learn to avoid breaking the bikers’ ranks on the road this is one of the ways that help them to ride in safety.

When questioned about the biker’s paraphernalia, especially the skull, he said that the skull is white. He explained that beneath the colour of our skin, we all have white skulls. This is the same across all races. It essentially means that all bikers are the same, whither white, black, or yellow. He said that this binds bikers all across the globe and this is why no brother is left behind. He speaks of his ride to Ghana and how he was warmly received and accommodated by brothers that did not know him from Adam, same also happened in Benin Republic. He said that the skull is a symbol of unity. He however pointed out that not all bikers wear the skull. He said that for bikers, an injury to one is an injury to all and so they look out for all brothers on two wheels. This has nothing to do with race, creed, or culture. He added that it should not surprise you to see 80-year-old bikers supporting a 20-year-old biker of any gender. A biker is a biker for life. He explained that bikers form clubs along the lines of common interest. He added there are even Christian rider clubs such as chariots of fire.

He gave an example of a biker who was travelling from Spain on a tour of Africa and posted a message on their bikers’ forum. The biker had a problem with his bike in Mali. Mr. Gomez sent this message to the bikers in Mali who rode out to meet the Spanish rider and rescued him. They accommodated him, fixed his bike and led him back to his tour. He said that today, they have formed a bond with the Spanish biker. He mentioned that bikers can go to many lengths for each other.

Mr. Adebowale spoke about the charity events that bikers engage in. He added that bikers are engaged in so many charity projects. Particularly visits to orphanages. He added that the doctors amongst them often organize health outreaches. Similarly, bikers also engage in tree planting campaign. He mentioned how bikers had an outreach during the covid-19 pandemic. They went from state to state raising awareness and distributing masks and hand sanitizers. He mentioned that they also work with senior medical personnel in carrying out charity events. During this period, they also went from hospitals to residential homes distributing medication to patients who take essential medication for conditions such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes. This they did in collaboration with the Ministry of health. He mentioned that most of the bikers that were picked for this assignment are also road safety Marshals. He mentioned that they have Doctors who are also specialist consultants in various areas.

Adebowale mentioned that there is an arm of the road safety marshal for bikers who help to decongest and control traffic and they give more coverage because of their bikes. He explained that they also use this platform to sensitize road users on safety so as to create a safety culture. They do this by organizing National safety campaign for all road users.

Furthermore, the bikers under the auspices of SCAN organize The School Uniform Project. This project is targeted at under-privileged young children. These group sews and distributes Uniforms to school children as a way of boosting their self-esteem. Teachers would help in identifying the under privileged students.

At the club level, we interviewed Mr. Misari, the Chairman of the Gombe Jewel bikers club which is under SCAN. Gombe jewel has been involved in tree planting campaigns for several years. Mr. Husseini Misari explained that Gombe Jewel Bikers is based in Gombe and is made up of about thirty members spread across the country. He said that the club is a Nigerian club based in Gombe. He explained that he comes from a family of bikers as most of his uncles are power bikers. He added that he has ridden for ten years so far, and it is a passion as he has a need for speed. However, overtime, he has used this platform for philanthropy and humanitarian activities. He points out that the biking community is into humanitarian and philanthropy and he uses that passion to give back to the society. This was why he joined the club.

Since 2019, he has been President of the club. The club has launched some campaigns starting with the tree planting campaign. Other charity projects include charity at the orphanages and giving back to schools through the Education must continue project a project which is a mentorship programme conceptualized and initiated by SCAN. This body mandated all clubs to get involved in this project. They are Professionals such as Lawyers, Doctors and Engineers who teach classes and encourage student to realize their dreams by working hard.

On the tree planting campaign, the club collaborates with the Ministry of Education on this project in Gombe during the first tree planting campaign. The first tree planting campaign was at the Federal University Keshere. This was due to the deforestation and desertification that was assailing the environment. So far, the club has had 4 planting campaigns. Three in Gombe and one in Bauchi. The 4th tree planting campaign was in Bauchi and the club collaboration with the Government of Bauchi State and a fertilizer manufacturing company called Notore. The Ministries of environment, sports and agriculture were on hand to support the project. The Ministries also gave their own quota towards the tree planting campaign. So far, the club has planted 12 thousand trees in the past 4 years and the aim is to plant 3,000 tree every year as this has become an annual event.

The giving back the school project was initiated by the National body. He said that they produced about 3,000 bundle of exercise books, 2500 was presented to the Emir of Gombe who has built schools. The Lamido of Adamawa was also presented with 1000 bundles towards the vision of education. The club mentors’ young children and makes them believe that they can be whatever they want to be, but they have to study first.

Mr. Misari said that motorcycles are a means of transport for him and some bikers. He said hat bikers are misperceived and the misconception may come from the noise of the bikes, which makes some people see them as a nuisance. He said behind their helmets are very responsible people who give back to the society meaningfully. Mr Misari said that they take money from their pockets for their charity events and the poor perception of bikers is tied to the misconception about who they are. As part of the charity they do, the chairman also told Bangles that they carry out bore-hold projects for poor communities.

As to the psychological effect of riding a bike, he said that he feels a sense of freedom when reading. He said that the concentration keeps him focus on himself. The breeze gives him a sense of nature. He said that when he is stressed up, he rides his bike and goes to see some beautiful sceneries after which he feels refreshed. He has a first degree and a master’s degree in marketing. He is a professional marketer who has worked with Guinness, Unilever and now, he is the regional manager for Phillip Morris.

Speaking on the marketing potentials of biking and how it can become a brand, he said that they have a proper structure with corporate documents. It is actually an NGO. They collaborate for partnership and sponsorship. He mentioned that publicity is low because most people think that no good can come from bikers, which is an error. He said that the club is also collaborating with jewel environmental. The NGO also collaborate with the government of Gombe State for the Gombe-goes-green vision. They supply them with trees. They also seek collaboration with some companies but because they do charity and have low coverage, companies looking for return on investment via wider reach for their products do not find the deal competitive enough.

He mentioned that in their community, there are soldiers, doctors, lawyers, architects, teacher, pilots, Olympic champions, governors, senators, interpreters, mechanized farmers and teachers to name a few. Mr. Misari was recently nominated by several African countries as biker of the month and went to Benin Republic recently to receive his award. He attested to the fact that biking is a uniting force because their brotherhood spreads across all African bikers. The club, black African rider is an umbrella body for bikers across the African continent. He said that in order to foster more unity, the francophone bikers learn English and the Anglophone bikers are learning French for the purpose of overcoming the linguistic barrier. The Brotherhood also helps in establishing business network across the continent. He said that the love bikers have for each other is different because they love each other like family, and they extend this love to other members of society.

Speaking of safety measures, he said that all bikers that are members of clubs, adhere to safety measures and it is bikers that are non-members that often create the image of lawlessness for them. He reiterates that the Majority of bikers are safety conscious and law-abiding members of society who contribute positively to society’s wellbeing.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *