By Adebisi Oyelere
More reactions have trailed the controversial letter written by Agbaji Development Association (ADA) to APC chieftain and popular philanthropist, Mallam Saliu Mustapha over the latter’s donation of N500,000 for the association’s annual Quranic competition.
A Community Development expert, Dr. Lawal Olorungbebe on Wednesday came hard on ADA, describing their action as ‘egregious’ and one that was capable of discouraging community philanthropist from further supporting good causes in the community.
On his part, Muhammad Uthman Jagunma, another prominent community development practitioner expressed disappointment against ADA and berated them for withdrawing an ‘award that had not been given.’
The both of them reacted in the Emirates Politics and Governance group, a popular public WhatsApp group shortly after the controversial ADA letter surfaced online.
“…if ADA can verily comprehend the implication of their egregious action, maybe they won’t do it,” said Olohungbebe.
“We are the ones crying that the rich among us aren’t identifying with us, how do we explain this? Unfortunately, even other CDAs will suffer from this action in the hands of some big men who may want to use this as an excuse.”
“I have spoken to some of their members and I found out that the decision wasn’t unanimous. Imagine how it portrays them if some members of the association release a rejoinder anytime soon. That may cause ADA a fortune.”
Also contributing, Jagunma, who is also the National Publicity Secretary of the Ilorin Emirates Youths Development Association (IEYDA) said the the implications of the ADA’s open spat with Saliu Mustapha were far-reaching on community development.
“Is this an ideal way a community development association should behave?”
“Do the excos of Agbaji Development Association (ADA) understand the implications of their egregious act?”
“You solicited Malam Saliu Mustapha’s assistance, knowing full well that he is a politician. He assisted and his boys blew it on social media. The next thing is now for the association to issue a statement withdrawing the award you have not give n him and retracting your invitation to make him the chief launcher.”
“Is this the first time you will receive assistance from politicians and it will be publicised? If what you are doing is exclusively for Allah, why don’t you do it from your pocket without inviting outsiders?”
“When does it become a crime to announce one’s assistance, at least, to encourage others to do more? I hope you know your action will push others away from assisting you in the future?”
“And we keep claiming that the rich among us are not assisting the needy. Isn’t this enough to be wary of invitations from community development associations?”
It will be recalled that ADA had claimed that it requested for financial support from Mustapha through one of his patrons, Sheikh Abdulkadir Oba Solagberu.
And on the basis of Solagberu’s recommendations, Mustapha dolled out N500,000, a full bankroll of the programme.
FreshInsight further recalls that ADA had written a ‘Letter of Appreciation’ to Mustapha which letter later made its way to the social media.
ADA frowned at the alleged publication of its letter on the social media by aides of Mustapha and wrote a scathing rejoinder wherein its berated Mustapha and withdrew an earlier proposal to award Mustapha at the ceremony.