Democracy dividends: Senator Alli’s philanthropy and 3,000 widows in Oyo South 

BAYO AGBOOLA captures the electric  moments when over 3,000 women smiled in Oyo South senatorial district courtesy of humanitarian gestures of Senator Sharafadeen Alli. These were only part of the myriads of philanthropy and distribution of democracy dividends to his constituents

In the last few months, the Senator representing Oyo South senatorial district in Oyo state and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Sharafadeen Alli, has been touring the length and breadth of his district comprising of nine local governments across parts of Ibadanland and the entire Ibarapa areas of Oyo state.

As arduous as the task of giving back the dividends of democracy seems, Senator Alli has made the gesture to his constituents a light one, transversing the communities on each passing day with a view to putting smiles on their faces with pump and celebration.  

The beneficiaries comprises the youths, artisans, traders, women and  the aged. Till date, it has been a no dull moment in Oyo South senatorial district as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator has left no community without making donations capable of alleviating poverty and plastering smiles on the faces  of the constituents in the senatorial district.

Among his donation, were fully equiped ICT centres for Ansar-ud-deen High School I, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, Methodist Grammar School in Sagaun, Igboora, donation of a borehole to Mokola Divisional Police Station together with a generating set, donation of 3.5kva, inverter with solar panels to Sango Divisional Police Station as well as distribution of other palliatives at several markets.

In other communities, he sank boreholes, erected solar street lights and organised coaching classes for students in Oyo South senatorial district.

In continuation of his gestures to his constituents, Senator Alli last week donated a Toyota Sienna bus to the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Oyo state chapter, N500,000.00 to the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan in support of the 8th UNIBADAN Conference of Biomedical Research held from September 11 to 15.

Handing the key of the new bus to FIDA, Oyo state chapter, led by its chairperson, Mrs Sola Sulayman, Senator Alli lauded the body for its contributions to the fight for the rights of women and children.

He added that FIDA should do more in correcting the ills prevalent in the society, such as domestic violence, child abuse and other rights issues as well as helping the society more by counselling for women in the society as a way of promoting healthy relationships and homes, 

“We all must remain committed in ensuring we provide a society that protects and values the rights of women and children,” the Senator said.

Oyo state FIDA Chairperson, Mrs Sola Sulayman, while appreciating Senator Alli gesture said “You are a man of your words. A promise keeper, supportive partner, and humble leader. We appreciate this donation and promise to make good use of it. We are confident that the newly donated bus to the association will positively enhance the activities of the association”.

Also, the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, in appreciating Senator Alli for his donation in support of the faculty in a letter signed by its Dean, Prof. Oyeronke Odunola stated, “On behalf of the Faculty, I write to acknowledge with immense gratitude the receipt of a donation of five hundred thousand (N500,000.00). 

“This is towards the provision of conference bags for participants in support of the 8th UNIBADAN Conference of Biomedical Research held from September 11 to 15. The kind gesture contributed greatly to the success of the conference. Once again, thank you very much sir,” the letter read in part.

Hours after the Monday donation to FIDA, Senator Alli embarked on a three-day programme to support the widows drawn from across the nine local governments that made up Oyo South, during which he distributed food items worth N35million to over 3,000 widows as part of his efforts to cushion the effect of economic hardship on the people.

On Tuesday, a day after the FIDA donation, Senator Alli stormed Eruwa to distribute food items to widows drawn from the three local governments in the Ibarapa zone of the senatorial district during which he restated his commitment to keeping his electioneering promises of delivering dividends of democracy to the people.

“I decided that after reaching out to markets, we should now reach out to the widows. We have decided that it should be across the senatorial district.” 

“For this in the last three days, the totality of it is well over N35 million and at the close of it, it will be over 3000 widows across the senatorial district. We are just beginning, this is just a tip of the iceberg. There are lots we have in plan for our people in areas like education, health, infrastructure and lots of other things,” he said. 

Tasking other political office holders as well as the wealthy individuals in the society to reach out to people so as to cushion the effect of the current economic hardship, Senator Alli emphasized “as members of the National Assembly, we’ve not been given any palliative to give to our people, but I decided on my own. 

“I will implore others to also please do same. I will advise other politicians to reach back to our people at home and also let us cushion the effect of the hardship our people are going through. We must assist the government in cushioning the effect of the hardship on our people”.

He said the issue of subsidy removal has come to stay, saying anything to the  contrary would only increase debt burden on Nigeria.

Senator Sarafadeen Alli within the three days programmes also inaugurated the ICT centres he facilitated in Ibadan and Igboora as well as a modern toilet facility he built at Ajomale compound in Oja-Oba, Ibadan. 

The Senatorial Chairman of APC in Oyo South, Alhaji Mojeed Olaoya, could not hide his excitement when he relapsed into words of commendation for  Senator Sarafadeen for “doing so much in his first 100 days of assuming the office.” 

He described him as a “promise keeper” and generous leader, stressing, “If all those elected are doing that, then the tension will go down gradually. So, what he is doing is good. I give kudos to him. The funny thing is, how many of his colleagues are doing these? Most of them have gone overseas now with their families.”

According to Chief Olaoya, Senator Alli had promised to sink a borehole each in the 99 wards that made up the senatorial district, which he said that 12 had already been sunk, saying, “In the past, we don’t see those we elected for four years. The essence of democracy is for people to be happy, to have sense of belonging”.

Another APC leader from Ibadan North Local Government, Dr Adepeju Esan, in appreciating Senator Alli  gesture, said “One will not say it is unexpected like you’ve heard people talk about it. It won’t be the first time the senator will be doing this kind of a thing, even before he assumed office as a Senator. We can only say that we are lucky to have him representing us to be able to do what he knows how to do best and we are grateful. We appreciate it”.

One of the beneficiaries, Princess Stella Otegbola, in appreciating Senator Alli prayed God continue to bless the Chairman Senate Committee on INEC.

He said, “we thank Senator Sharafadeen Alli. May the Lord continue to bless him. He will continue to move from glory to glory,” urging government to make proper provision for the elderly, youths, middle-aged and less privileged, while also providing other basic social amenities.While another beneficiary,  Muinat Mustapha, in thanking the senator, tasked  government and other public office holders to reach to people to cushion effect of the economic hardship.

“We thank the man. We appeal to government to put more effort on the young people and assist the upcoming youths. People are suffering,”

With the gesture of Senator Alli so far, residents in Oyo South are now hopeful that this time around, more dividends of democracy are still on the way for the senatorial district with the pace at which their representative at the Senate is moving in term of giving back to the constituents.

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