Wheelchairs For Nigeria
Dr. Ron Rice
Ron is the Founder and President of Wheelchairs For Nigeria. He is a retired Presbyterian pastor, graduate of Whitworth University, Princeton Seminary and has a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Seminary. He has travelled to Nigeria 29 times and visited 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Sharon, his wife of 62 years, accompanies him on many trips to Nigeria. Together they have travelled in 106 countries.
In 2016 Ron was turbaned as a chief, the highest honor a Muslim tribe can give. He may be the only white man so honored in Nigeria, or one of very few. Whenever he visits an Emir’s palace, it is protocol that a chief wear his turban and robe.
Ayuba was born in a tiny village in Plateau State, near the center of Nigeria. He was crippled with polio as a small boy. His father sent him to a mission rehabilitation center, hoping they could teach him how to walk. When he finished 3rd grade, his father said it was a waste to spend any more money on school fees for a boy who walked on his hands. It wasn’t until he was 19 that his uncle built him a wheelchair and he went back to the 4th grade. Denied admission to the University because of his handicap, he completed the three-year program at the Akwanga College of Education.
In 1999 on his first day of teaching as a Christian Religious Knowledge teacher, he met Ron Rice at a teachers’ workshop. Out of that providential meeting has grown the largest ministry to polio survivors, by far, in all of Nigeria.
Ayuba is now a graduate of the Law Faculty of the University of Jos. He is married with 5 children. He has received over 50 awards and trophies for his humanitarian work. In a recent social media survey, he was voted the 2nd most effective politician in Plateau State, even though he has never held public office.