Philanthropy: The good example of Saliu Mustapha

As I write, Mallam Saliu Mustapha, the Turaki of Ilorin in Kwara state, is on the verge of enabling the marketers at Alanamu market to return to business after a sad fire incident. He has authorized the immediate comprehensive renovation of the affected shops. This is typical of the Turaki who has since converted the act of personal generosity and philanthropy to a huge strength, and something that defines the essence of his being.

Nowadays, everyone, not just politicians, is busy and hardly have enough time to cater to other people’s troubles. This is why people like Saliu Mustapha who have made ‘philantropism’ a habit represents a ray of hope in an increasingly dark world where everyone is constantly fixated on self.

It is even more significant to realize that the Turaki’s act of freely giving to the needy did not just start because he needs people’s votes; it is something that has been both a habit and a part of his character. This fact was appropriately situated by the Balogun Alanamu, Dr. Usman Abubakar Jos when he commended Saliu Mustapha for “his consistency in putting smile in people’s faces beyond politics.”

Those who seek to reduce Saliu Mustapha’s philantrophy to a mere “money throwing” bazaar entirely missed the point. For those who were old enough in 1993, they would recall a certain M.K.O Abiola who turned personal generosity to political capital; he built mosques in the remotest part of Kano and extended his kindness to reach the ordinary man in Katsina and Nnewi. By the time elections came, Abiola reaped the fruits of his philantrophy even in the backyard of Alhaji Bashir Tofa, his opponent.

Even though it’s not necessary that it is only money that is used in the act of philantrophy or even generally endearing oneself to the people; what Saliu Mustapha, like the M.K.O Abiola before him, has done is to discover where his strength lies and to press it to his advantage. He has no doubt come to the realization of what he has as a comparative advantage and using it to good effect.

The thing is, we are not always equally endowed. Sometimes, some people have more physical power than others, some are more intelligent, some have more network, some have more ideas, while some it is certificates, but in all cases everyone uses whatever he has to advantage and better position himself or herself; with some sparing a thought for humanity by touching lives with whatever God has endowed them with.

In the case of Saliu Mustapha, what he ostensibly has is the advantage of resources and the brainwork to put those resources to good effect, using it to ameliorate people’s suffering (like in the case of Alanamu shop owners and others) while they in turn reward him with their love and affection.

To the extent that an intelligent man is not crucified for using his intelligence to advance his pace in life and using his God-given talents to his benefit; it would be uncharitable to crucify someone blessed with monetary resources for using it to help others and in the process advancing and better positioning himself.

Many roads, they say, lead to one’s destinations, and Saliu Mustapha has chosen the path of philantrophy and benevolence to our people. All thanks, and all the best to the Turaki with a difference!

AbdulRahman Abdulkadir T (AAT)