The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Maj.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, on Monday, donated two million naira to veteran actor, Usman Baba Pategi, popularly known as Samanja Mazan Fama, in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the COAS made the donation when he visited the veteran actor at his residence.
NAN reports that the artist debunked rumours that made the rounds about his death on social media a few days back.
The COAS was represented by Brig.-Gen Vitalis Okoro, Chief of Staff to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna.
Yahaya explained that he was informed of the health challenges of the veteran actor and felt obliged to lend some support.
He said Nigerian Army takes pride in identifying with notable public figures who have made positive impact on the society.
According to him, Nigerian Army was excited about how Samanja positively projected the image of the army by giving the Nigerian public, an insight into how life in army barracks looked like.
“With this important role, he was able to carve a niche for himself in the entertainment industry.
“Besides, all that Samanja had done in casting the army in a positive light, he remains an icon of the Nigerian army,“ he said.
While responding, the visibly elated Samanja, who recalled with nostalgia, his stint in the army, expressed his immense gratitude to the COAS for identifying with him.
He called on all Nigerians to be patriotic and prayed for the continued peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
He called on youths to always engage in meaningful projects that will benefit them in life.
Also, one of his daughters, Amina Usman, described her father as a caring and loving father.
She appreciated the Nigerian Army for identifying with the Samanja family.