In Taraba, Ishaku, Alhassan Battle over IDP's 12,000 Bags of Grains

August 5, 2016, 3:51 am

Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, on Thursday, told the Taraba State governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, to release the 12,000 bags of grains procured by the federal government for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the state for onward distribution to the beneficiaries.

Alhassan, who has been in the state since Friday, 29th July 2016 and was scheduled to commence the distribution of the grains last Monday could however not carry out the distribution following the refusal of SEMA to release the grains to her.

Addressing Journalists at her residence in Jalingo, the Minister noted that the action of the state government is not just an insult to her person but to President Muhammadu Buhari, who directed her to the state to carry out the exercise.

Admonishing the state government for not releasing the relief materials to her, Alhassan, who was the gubernatorial candidate of APC in the 2015 general election in Taraba, noted that need and welfare of the displaced persons should be of paramount interest rather than pecuniary political interest.

"Ordinarily, I would have chosen not to join issues with the state government on this unnecessary controversy, but I am doing so on account of the fact that the state government and all of us in positions of authority have a more important duty of addressing the urgent needs of our people rather than engage in needless media war", she stated.

But in a release signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Sylvanus Giwa, the state government accused the Minister of neither notifying it of her visit to the state nor informing the state of her intention to distribute the materials saying her action is a breach of protocol.

"The minister while in the state intentionally refused to write and inform the state government in other to provide her with adequate security, she also refused to involve the state government in her official visits and activities slated for the visit.

"She simply want to undermine the authority of the governor which we refused to give her such room for security reasons, if she come with good intention we are ready to oblige her of her official protocol."

But countering Giwa, Alhassan explained that she personally wrote to the state deputy governor, Alhaji Haruna Manu who doubles as Chairman of SEMA to release the grains to me to no avail just as she revealed that the DG of NEMA and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture equally wrote to SEMA authorising the release of the grains to her. 

"I personally wrote to the Deputy Governor who is also the chairman of SEMA to direct the agency to release the grains to me because the governor was not in town and I follow up with a call to him, but all to no avail.

"I am surprised that the governor's SSA on Media accused me of not following protocol and insisting that I should have paid a courtesy call on the governor. Courtesies are earned, not enforced. I am not a hypocrite, so why should I extend my courtesy to a government that is discriminating and persecuting my  supporters," she queried.

The minister described the action of the Taraba state government as an affront on the authority of Mr. President and an insult to the office of the minister of the federal republic who is a representative of the government.

While calling for calm by the IDPs, the minister noted that she and the state government can serve the people of the state in different ways and capacities without each party struggling to pull down the other saying "in the final analysis, it is our service to the people that will endear us to their hearts and nothing else"

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