Perhaps, Chief Ayuba Gufwan became more popular after his recent defection from the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress few weeks to the 2019 General elections.

Mr. Ayuba defected despite allegedly being rigged out by the ruling government in the Plateau State Local Government polls of October 2018. Gufwan who contested the Chairmanship of Mangu Local Government reportedly won by a wide margin under the PDP but the results were cancelled, leading to a rerun which eventually favoured his opponent from the APC.

The 2015 House of Assembly Candidate of the PDP had gone to court along with his Party to demand justice into the case until he was allegedly discriminated against based on his disability by the leadership of the PDP, leading to his defection in February 2019. Since then, Mr. Gufwan has remained a regular face in Plateau politics.

However, Burki as he is fondly called has for long made a name for himself in the area of human capital development, disability rights advocacy and humanitarian service.

Born in Panyam, Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State on April 30, Mr. Gufwan who lost his legs at the age of five to poliomyelitis was once believed by his father to be unemployable. 

However, to prove wrong that assumption, Gufwan struggled and acquired Western education up to a Bachelor's Degree in Law,  from the University of Maiduguri.

It would seem that graduating from University marked the end of his struggle to prove skeptics wrong about his abilities. However, Mr. Gufwan insisted it was not enough to conquer his disability but to help others conquer their adversities too.

Though still confined to a wheelchair, Mr. Gufwan has since turned his misfortune into a passion, providing help for about 80 orphans and the disabled through the Beautiful Gates Handicapped Center, a Foundation he founded  in 1999.

The centre according to a Daily Trust report is bridging the gap between polio eradication, rehabilitation of polio survivors and improving the lives of people with disabilities in Nigeria. 

It has produced and disteulibuted about 13, 000 free wheel chairs in the last 18 years. Disabled citizens from all over Nigeria have benefitted, with about 60% of the beneficiaries enrolled for vocational training by the Centre.

With a total of 32 paid staff and 48 apprentices – all orphans and physically challenged, Ayuba as Daily Trust puts it is not only providing employment but a sense of belonging to this class of people.

His birthday therefore to many is dear, but to him, likely, an added call to human service, and the confirmation of God's grace having survived the deadly poliomyelitis amongst many of his age mates who died with the disease at infancy.