By Kola Popoola
Few days ago when the famous Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, Shina Peller, released a statement announcing his intention to represent his people Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Kajola, Iwajowa Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives in 2019, it attracted immediate warmth reactions from the populace, especially from those who had experienced or witnessed the humanitarian nature of the man whose kindness, bounty, humility, efficiency both in business and human relations know no bound.
Truly, Shina Peller’s love for mankind, especially the less privileged, is so unquantifiable that even the elites within his circle consider him strange. Indeed, going by his unique traits and what people say about him, one can reasonably describe Shina Peller as the political treasure that masses seek.
Prior to his formal declaration of interest to vie for the seat of Federal House of Representatives to represent Oyo State in 2019, it is pertinent to note that there had been genuine requests from people to him to be actively involved in politics to save the masses from the agonies and hopelessness they are often subjected to, courtesy of the bad representation and leadership.
However, to the disappointment of all, our dear humanitarian Shina Peller had felt otherwise and reasonably argued that he does not have to be actively involved in politics before he could touch lives positively. And of course, he was right; he was and still touching lives positively in various ways as evidently seen in his various humanitarian endeavours.
However, as explanatory and reasonable enough Shina Peller’s excuse was, many of his lovers were not satisfied, they believed he would touch their lives even better than he was/is doing if he holds an elective position in the country, but some of them took it in good faith as they continued to enjoy good things associated with a phenomenon called Shina Peller.
So, the man of the masses, Peller, continued to impact lives in his own ways and believed that the political request from the people had been successfully settled and put to rest. What was, however, probably unknown to Shina Peller was that some of these people, who benefit immensely from his generosity and humanity, would not give up easily like that. So, they engaged God in serious spiritual conversations daily asking Him to change the mind of the man they so love and make him see the need for him to lead.
Who says God answers not prayer? Well, lovers of Shina Peller who had been spiritually inclined on the subject matter would not agree as they kept hope alive that sooner or later, God would make their man give in to their political request.
Gladly, disappointments began to transform into signs of hope when in January, this year; Shina Peller took to his Instagram page to hint his loved ones of his consideration and willingness to respond to the call of the masses to be actively involved in politics. He had written on his Instagram page then:
“As we all know, election season in Nigeria is fast approaching and political gladiators are already building their war chests but the average young Nigerian is bothered less. It’s almost like a feeling of powerlessness and despair, most believe the processes have already been predetermined by the powers that be so why bother wasting time to get a voters card talk less of actually voting. The common notion is that the candidate with the largest war chest wins and we have heard many tales of people selling their votes for less than a dollar and a bag of chips.
“One thing is certain, though nobody is happy with the state of Nigeria today, most people who know me can vouch for the fact that I have never been interested in politics and I have never had an eye for it, but with the level of decadence in the country today, I have been forced to change my mind.”
Shina Peller didn’t stop there, he continued, “While I cannot say for certain if I will yield to the tremendous pressure on me to run for elective office from my constituency, one thing I can say for certain is I will be actively involved in the political process going forward, I will no longer sit back and watch things go bad. I enjoin all young people to do the same, please register to vote, join a political party, run for office, be the change you seek, it’s time to stop ranting on social media and take positive actions. The young people in Nigeria are the most powerful single block in the country today. However, the old guard tries to divide us along ethnic, religious and cultural lines, but once we unite, nobody can stop us. Let’s start changing Nigeria together today.”
Those were his words that had rekindled the hope of the masses, especially those who see through their minds and strongly believe that if Shina Peller occupies an elective position, our society will be better placed as they are certain he is capable of influencing the system positively in one way or another through his wealth of experience, humanitarian traits, love for the masses and the less privileged as well as his craving for a better Nigeria.
So, few days ago when he released that official statement notifying the public of his interest to contest for Federal House of Representatives seat in his home state, Oyo, comes 2019, many gave the news warmth reception and vow to do everything within their capacity to aid his campaign and ensure his success at the forthcoming elections.
The statement had read, “My people, after a deep thought, reflection and extensive consultations, I have decided to formally declare my intention to represent the Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Kajola, Iwajowa federal constituency at the House of Representatives in 2019.
“I appreciate the advice and concern from well-wishers and mentors who are worried that going into politics will be detrimental to my business interests which I have worked so hard to build over the last two decades but I think the time for social media and arm chair politics is over. We need to take our destiny into our own hands for the sake of Nigeria, for the sake of our children, and the less privileged in our society.
“My focus in politics will be to ensure that institutions work and people can benefit from government services irrespective of class or social status.
“I want to help create policies that will help diversify our economy with a renewed focus on tourism, manufacturing and youth empowerment.“I encourage all young people to follow my cue and take an active role in partisan politics. This is our time. The time is now.”
Above are the soothing words of Shina Peller, and many see his decision to respond to people’s call to serve them as a step in the right direction.
Though Shina Peller is so popular that the name has become a phenomenon that many have come to identify with, an insight into his background and personality will suffice here, especially for the benefit of those who might not have met or interacted with him, heard or read about him before.
Shina Abiola Peller is a Nigerian businessman, philanthropist, and industrialist who indigenously hails from Iseyin in Oyo State. He was born on the 14th of May, 1976 in Lagos state into the family of the late popular magician, Professor Moshood Abiola Peller. He holds a first degree in Chemical Engineering and Master’s degree in Business Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology respectively.
The Chemical Engineering graduate is the owner of the popular nightclub, Quilox located at Victoria Island in Lagos State. Similarly, he is the Group Chairman and CEO of the diversified conglomerate, Aquilla group of companies, which include Aquila Building and Projects Limited, Aquila Oil and Gas, Aquila Smart Homes Limited, Aquila Global Resources Limited, and the popular Aquila Records. It is important to note that Aquila Oil and Gas is the major supplier of fuel used by major manufacturing and industrial companies in Nigeria to power their generating sets.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that Shina Peller had worked on different projects within and outside the country, and this afforded him the required experience and exposure needed to function efficiently both locally and internationally.
In the same vein, out of his love for humanity, Shina Peller founded ‘Help The Blind And Handicap Foundation’. Trough this foundation, Shina Peller helps disabled people, orphans, widows and all physically challenged persons by empowering them through business grants and scholarships. He is also involved in many other humanitarian obligations both within and outside Nigeria. Many a time, he has donated a huge sum of money to NGOs for humanitarian purposes.
Sometimes ago, Shina Peller was captured in a video helping to transport victims of motor accident that occurred along Lagos-Ibadan expressway to hospital for treatment. He was travelling with his convoys when he noticed the victims were lying unconsciously on the ground at the scene of the accident, and needed to be rescued.
He had to stop and even made available some of his vehicles to be used to convey most of the victims to the hospital before the arrival of the FRSC ambulance. Unfortunately, the FRSC vehicle got to the accident scene on an empty fuel tank. Shina Peller had to use his mouth to draw off fuel from a commercial vehicle so that FRSC ambulance could get fuel to transport the remaining victims to the hospital.
Ordinarily, he could have driven off with little or no concern, but the humanity in him wouldn’t allow him to do that. That is one of the traits people cherish so much about him, he is so passionate about saving lives; he has a heart of gold.
Truthfully, many consider Shina Peller one of the political treasures that masses need and continuously seek. One can only hope that other selfless personalities like him, especially the young ones, who are making waves in their chosen career and who possess required leadership ability and traits, will follow his path and also bring themselves forward to serve their people.
Like Shina Peller has rightly pointed out, the time is now for us to take the lead. We cannot continue to be led backwardness. Let us spread the message, we can get it right with the right representation, especially at the National Assembly. Let all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians join the movement, #ShinaAyo2019.