By Ridwanullahi Odofin
Alhaji Kabir Shagaya, the Technical Assistant to Kwara State Governor on Investments, is a year older today. I am happy for him. Today is significant in his sojourn in life because it commemorates the day he began his mortal journey.
My first encounter with him came just unexpectedly some days back. My brother, who runs Funshy Footwears, had told me that Shagaya asked to see him in his office on account of his desire for his brand after an engagement on Instagram and of course during the ‘Kwara Youth Fair’ a few weeks ago. He hinted of his meeting to present him a special gift (made-in-Ilorin footwear) to commemorate his birthday. At first, when he mentioned his name, I felt he would be snobbish like most public office holders, but I remained positive immediately he spoke about his encounter with him. And in the end, it was a different narrative.
When we got to his apartment, we met his Personal Assistant who relayed our message to him. Immediately, he asked us to come in and received us with a beautiful smile. He was a dazzling spectacle to behold.
As he discussed with my brother, I paid close attention. I was deeply impressed with his meticulous approach, his passion and his humility. He was completely downright. And I was so moved by his passion to do great things and help others to develop. These attributes stand him out.
Despite his unique and achievements, Kabir Shagaya is remarkably simple. Meeting him made one appreciate the profundity in Leonardo Da Vinci’s statement that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and Anuj Somany’s submission that “a man’s simplicity is the beauty of his humanity in life”.
Going by what he has achieved over the years, his personality is etched in gold on account of his humanness and his intent to ensure positive development in Kwara State.
A point of reference is the Voices of Tomorrow Summit, an annual event that aims to bring together young people in positions of power and influence who are making an impact in Nigeria. It was centred on the theme, “Responsibilities and Expectations That Come With Positions of Influence”.
Overwhelmed with the desire to make an impact in the lives of Kwarans, Shagaya said that each year the event would be themed to highlight different issues and facilitate discussion with youthful, yet influential individuals in both the public and private sector.
“Voice of tomorrow is an initiative put together to guide the leaders of tomorrow because the problems we had in this country are embedded in a system we are working with.
“As youths and leaders of tomorrow, we need to start making necessary changes, which is important to push us to the next level and move us forward. The summit aims to help the youths understand the responsibilities that come with the position, influence and having a voice that counts.
“We all have a voice in different capacities and we must understand how to use it appropriately to push our country forward,” Shagaya said.
The event was an epoch-making one, with the crème de la crème in society and the younger generation trooping out to contribute their quota to national development. It is also a reflection of the life of Alhaji Kabir Shagaya.
Shagaya’s well-conceived blueprint will lift the state to an enviable status. The Ilorin-born politician, though young, can thrive in a more advanced position.
I wish you many fruitful harvests throughout your tenure in the public office and greater accomplishments in other future endeavours.
Ridwanullahi Odofin is a Public Affairs Analyst and Editor with Acurate News. He writes from Ilorin.