I have followed with measured calmness the fits of labelling and accusations of the good person of Honourable Sheriff Shagaya, by those people I would describe as misinformed or misguided, that he’s another political tiger bidding his time before pouncing on government’s big pulse for the usual political feast, his philantrophy notwithstanding.
And I have concluded, after much difficult time listening to their incoherent arguments and often shallow submissions online, that it’s about time I be the sabre to kill our people’s ignorance once and for all.
While I am much aware of the inalienable privilege of every individual to hold an opinion, I have no doubts whatsoever too, that often times a wrong opinion is as a result of misinformation.
This is why, for fairness sake, Hon. Sheriff Shagaya deserves my timely intervention in educating, orientating and reorientating of our people that his philantrophy isn’t no 9th Wonder of the World but an enviable habit; a second nature, something more like breathing that he does every time.
Right after the disappointment of 2015, not even his strongest fan would thought he was not going to scurry into hiding like many in his shoes. But the iconoclastic Sheriff was different, he showed uncommon compassion and affection by establishing a Foundation.
Perhaps because such feat still remains largely novel in our society; a former political aspirant establishing a burgeoning Foundation was sure going to be misinterpreted. However, it’s getting unfair how we don’t spare a time to think about it before raising an eyebrow. Mayhap we can do well to ask each other if we should not be appreciative that a young man chooses to carry a state problem on his timid head. Or is it that having a Foundation is unheard of?
When you look at the fact that Hon. Sheriff had taken his hands off politics since five years ago and never stopped his Foundation’s #10,000 Financial scheme, it’s only fair we are fair to him.
I was a witness at the last exercise which was the 13th of such Financial Empowerment Scheme. I saw old men and women been called out to collect money. These were people you wouldn’t ever imagined needed a capital just below #10,000 to start a petty business.
You could imagine how joy and happiness made a mansion on their faces; I mean, excitement was clearly written on them when they had free #10,000 handed to them. I can only imagine what immeasurable impacts it could effect in their trajectory.
I watched the suave and cerebral Sheriff gave his remarks too. Like a doubting Thomas, I was expecting he said something to nail him too but instead, his voice reverberated candour, brilliance, grace and nobility.
His opening remarks highlighted by plans to light up some homes in Ilorin metropolis was perhaps, his last dice to rope even the hardest of mind in. I can’t stop wondering how a private individual in his own private capacity could thought of setting people free from darkness of the night. The realisation and actualisation of such feat of course, would further carve his name in gold.
Yet, the vintage Sheriff was not done. Like a Prince mindful and bothered by his people’s plight, he spoke with such apparent level of understanding and compassion you would think he’s not the handsome son of a billionaire mother, Hajia Muinat Shagaya. His voice exuded kindness, respect and humility.
Sheriff spoke admirably on the reasons why he does what he does now; philantrophy. He said he’s at no lost to realise that a willful man can make impacts no matter how small. The deeply compassionate Sheriff said he had founded Salman Shagaya Foundation to give back to the town that made him.
Perhaps the most emotional moment was left to the last. To me, that was a statement that aptly defines that young man. And the moment he uttered it, you would feel that was it! Hon. Sheriff Shagaya spoke like a true honourable, he said “he sees helping the people as helping himself”. What a thought!
And I couldn’t helped spare a thought what Kwara State would look like if there were more Sheriff in town. I let wonderment rented my heart in melancholy, pondering why the rich hardly help the poor. Snapping out of reverie, I remembered with nostalgia that one like a Blue moon, a seeming rebel of the entrenched social class/order was about been harassed and shooed away without me raising a finger. Why do people distrust others so much? Won’t more of recalcitrance chase more of good people away? Can we even hang the rich so when we don’t even encourage them?
The need to be different isn’t learnt, it’s often felt. While we are free to hold opinion and air our thoughts, it’s only wise we make informed ones and air only the facts. It doesn’t reflect wiseness or represent rationality when anyone badmouth, victimise or villify a good man. We should always learn to see more and talk less; see more and talk less and let the time reveal you the truth.
There’s no point to justify inappropriateness, what’s bad is always bad. It’s bad to vilify a philanthropist, not ever. While a good man can never be repaid, we should at least not discourage any of them with uncensored displayed of arrogance, ignorance and misplaced exuberance.
This is why I felt compelled to inform our misinformed public that a man as honourable, noble and magnanimous as Sheriff Shagaya deserves nothing but our appreciation. If anything, not mislabeling, misrepresentation, ridicule or outright lies.
We should try as much as possible not to trivialise our people’s plight on the basis of politics. The Salman Shagaya Foundation though founded by Hon. Sheriff Shagaya, has grown bigger than him. And it’s only normal we see it as a sanctity of humanity and nothing more. Enough of living in fears of Sheriff inexistent political dreams.
The unwritten law of goodnaturedness that says goodness begets goodness should be extended to Honourable Sheriff. He deserves our prayers and blessings, not pettiness. This, is a call, for fairness to him. In fairness to him!
Ibraheem Abdullateef, a Social and Public Analyst writes from Ilorin. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.