By Stanley Onyekwere
An Abuja-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) for women and youth empowerment based, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja, has berated critics of the empowerment programme of Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed, the First Lady of Bauchi state.
The NGO described the attack as a subterfuge or misrepresentation of true nature of event and uncharitable.
President and founder of the foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, in a statement issued in Abuja, noted that one of the basic principles of empowerment is “nothing is too small to give”.
According to her, “my NGO has carried out empowerment schemes for over 14 years and I can speak from experience that not how much you give that makes the difference. I can tell you from the point of authority that you can empower certain people with N300, 000 and at the end of the day there is nothing to show for it.
“On the other hand, you can empower others with just a small business of N10,000, and come up more successful than those with huge capital. Therefore, in an empowerment programme, nothing is too small to start with”.
Ahmadu further stated that contrary to the earlier reports that the first Lady of Bauchi State, Hajia Aisha Bala Mohammed, distributed pure water bags as empowerment tools to women, the first Lady through her foundation, Al-Muhibbah distributed other start-up materials for rural women who had expressed interest in starting a business of their own.
“We came to the realization that many of the women expressed interest in starting up a pure water retail business, some preferred flour grinding business, etc.
“Flour grinding machines were distributed following a training session on how to operate the machines. Bags of water were distributed to the women as requested by them. Some others were trained on other skills and cash was given to them.
“Recently on June 12, 2020, Al-Muhibbah Foundation visited Makeran Shuwa IDP camp to provide relief items to the IDPs. Donations made included food items, clothing and footwears, entrepreneurial items aimed at empowering women. Unfortunately, critics did not see these achievements of the Bauchi state governor’s wife,” she lamented.
She, therefore called on other governor’s wives to identity the immediate needs of their people for empowerment and disregard whatever critics will say about them and remain focused.