SSF: The Thin Line Between Politics and Humanity – By Bolaji Aladie

It is so unfortunate that we live in a society where any philantropic gestures from an individual whether having political ambition or not is assumed to be rendered for future political gains. The belief is enshrined in our minds as a result of what is obtainable amongst average politicians in our society who give assistance to the members of their community in return for what they will get back whenever they decide to put their images in political stock exchange.

As a result of this notion, many philantropic gestures have lost their due commendations and appreciations due to the fact that the society we are holds belief that nothing comes for free from people especially those who have tendency to test their popularity in the field of politics.

The scenario above can be said to be the present fate of Salman Shagayah Foundation (SSF), a nonprofit organisation that is working to impact lives by given oppportunities of sustainable livelihood for the people and communities according to details of their services available on their Instagram page.

Salman Shagayah Foundation better put as SSF was founded by the Ilorin born Abuja based young multi-millionaire Alhaji Sheriff Shagayah who was the PDP’s flagbearer for the post of House of Representative for Asa/Ilorin West federal constituency during the last general elections. Though he lost the seat to the incumbent rep Bar. Razak Atunwa but unlike many other contemporary politicians, Alhaji Sheriff Shagayah opted to stay put with the foundation in order to deliver the promises  he made to the people of his constituency while seeking for their political supports and ever since establishment of SSF, many lives have been touched for good with philatropic and humanitarian gestures of its founder.

During the 2015 election electioneering period, Alhaji Sheriff Shagayah said it at many occasions that he was not seeking for political post in order to enrich himself as he has been fortunately blessed by God and he sees that contesting for the house of rep ticket is a way of giving back to the society which produced him as it will afford him opportunities to get the deserved dues of his people for them from the government at the center. Only few people agreed with his explanation then as he was seen like other politicians whose gestures are for electorates’s votes.

Meanwhile, prior the 2015 election time when he contested for seat, it was on records that Sheriff has been impacting lives of people who are lucky to get his link without making it public, may be the reason why he maintained  low key then is culminating to why there are innunedos over creation of SSF whose activities are not going without media coverages. This might have been the rationale behind criticisms of the foundation as an investment to relaunch its founder’s political bid comes next elections.

Be that it may, the fact remains that Sheriff Shagayah is doing so well to populace with his SSF as less than two years of its existence has given succours to the needy in term of socio-economic interventions across many areas especially this time when economic recession, non-salary payments topple talks of the town amongst the lower class of Nigerians.

Recently, the foundation donated a whooping sum of Two Million Naira to one Hakeem Bolaji Isah who needs the money for surgery of heart related ailment. Such humble gestures deserves accolades and wide commendations as it is a way of saving a life that could be lost. Instead, we still have some critics especially those who cannot part with ₦100 of their sweats speculating that the gesture is political as they foresee reemergence of the foundation’s CEO on the political field comes 2019.

Whether it is political or not, SSF like Mike Omotosho Foundation should always be commended and appreciated for touching lives if not for anything, but for the fact that their founders are compassionate and humane enough to part their hard- earned wealth for humanity sake. How many wealthy Kwarans who had political ambitions have an outfits for giving back to society? It is outrightly known that many of them foolishly believe that they can’t impact until they are in power, seeing their non-political made treasures as ‘only for my immediate circles of friends and family’.

I’ll enjoin the founder of SSF to continue to do his best without minding the opinions of his critics. He should rather see the criticisms and jibes as fuel that will ginger him to do more for humanity. 

I will also appeal to other wealthy Kwarans particularly Ilorites in both home and abroads to emulate the exemplary gestures of Alhaji Sheriff Shagayah and Dr. Mike Omotosho via their respective foundations. They should also find means of getting involve in ways to alleviate the apparent poverty  and abject amongst the people with sustainable socio-economic intervention, scholarships and empowerments.

May almighty God rises high every hand that giveth.
Bolaji Aladie writes from Gumel, Jigawa State.

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