The Turaki of Ilorin, Mallam Saliu Mustapha has over the years accentuated that philanthropy is an innate virtue that cannot be bought in any market square – not even in Onitsha Main Market.
In the last ten years or thereabouts, no individual without wielding staff or appointment has covertly or overtly leapfrogged the Ita-Adu born enigma in unconditional philanthropy.
A few days back, I was seated in the circle of some folks who were engulfed in a heated argument that the newly turbaned Turaki must have tiredly enjoyed several fruity political appointments due to his indiscriminate generosity within the four cardinal points of the state. I only wore my signature smile and thereafter did some impression-changing exercises with subtle rhetoric. Let us say the truth so that devil will be put to shame. ‘Rara ooo! Koda ata ipo Kánsílọ̀ Mallam ó jẹ rí ooo’.
Let me do a fast one on historical precedents, the traditional honour of “Turaki” has, for ages, been bequeathed to individuals of esteemed sociopolitical firmaments. The first Turaki of Ilorin, Alhaji Sanni Okin was a notable political figure in the first republic with an unwavering sense of humanitarian service to the Emirate.
Dr Olusola Saraki – the second individual to hold the title – was reputed for his deep predilection for the upliftment of the Ilorin Emirate in the Nigerian political space. Bukola Saraki, too, the third Turaki of Ilorin is a man of great stock and pedigree. Of a truth, the appointment of Mallam Saliu Mustapha has not in any ramification undermined the subsisting basis for the selection of holder of the highly revered traditional title of the Ilorin Emirate.
His spending behaviour is second to none as his Foundation office at Fate Roundabout has become Mecca of a sort to every indigent Kwaran across the sixteen Local Government Areas of the state. On one gracious occasion of his empowerment programme, reasonable empowerment funds ranging from ₦100,000 to ₦2,000,000 were disbursed to indigent for various business purposes.
Today, in Kwara, Mallam Saliu Mustapha has redefined philanthropy. He is a man distinct among politicians who exploit.
Through his unconditional humanitarian strides, we have been able to separate the chaff from grains and those politicians who intermittently explore the prevalent penury among Kwara masses to brace up their political cravings and ambitions. Mallam does not want to know whether you belong to his dear political party or not before stretching his philanthropic hands to you.
Is Mallam Your Regular Politician?
A few hours ago, I was watching a video clip wherein Mallam was canvassing his constituents for support in the forthcoming senatorial primaries, what ignited my imagination was the subtle manner he never demarket his competitor, Senator Ibrahim Yahya Oloriegbe.
“We know it is not easy to take away this senator slot from you (Ilorin West) but we want every Local Government Government within Ilorin Emirate to be given political slots in the spirit of fairness and equity. I won’t say our current senator (Oloriegbe) has not done well, he has performed well in the Red Chamber, but it is the prayer of our fathers that we, their children should outshine them. When we get to the Senate we will do better,” he said.
One would begin to wonder, how in this period of heated polity will he still plays high-level morality by eschewing politics of bitterness, campaign of calumny and unwarranted image destruction. He is indeed a Mallam as he is fondly called by his aficionados. He is a God-fearing politician who believes that power and position are divine and the almighty in his infinite grandeur gift them to whom he so prefers.
I pray Allah, in his unending mercies, take the Turaki of Ilorin to the highest tower of success and give a seamless breakthrough in his political pursuit.
Turaki, you are a true son of the soil.
Usman Kayode Onilu of Ita Alanamu writes from Lagos