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Suswam's Wife Dupes Benue Women-Premier Magazine

December 22, 2011

Despite the wide publicity given to the fifth edition of celebrate Benue women organized by the First Lady of Benue Arch. Mrs. Dooshima Yemisi Suswam, the occasion was scarcely attended, The Premier investigation has revealed.

Despite the wide publicity given to the fifth edition of celebrate Benue women organized by the First Lady of Benue Arch. Mrs. Dooshima Yemisi Suswam, the occasion was scarcely attended, The Premier investigation has revealed.

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The fifth edition which also featured the second anniversary breakfast prayer fellowship and book lunch witnessed a scanty population of women both at the IBB square and Aminu Isa Kontagora Theater Complex with almost the whole space at IBB square empty and most seats unoccupied at the Aminu Isa Kontagora complex.

Press coordinator to the first lady Samuel Orbunde, a day to the occasion told Nongov women who paid a solidarity visit to the first lady at the Government House that to whom much is given much should also be expected.

Orbunde further acknowledged the first family for taking good care of Benue women all these while, and requested that it was the women’s turn to also pay back “you are all invited to the book launch that day at the IBB square, therefore all of you stuff your pockets with money to support the first lady that day” he invited

He was perhaps speaking the mind of the first lady, one of the women who spoke with The Premier shortly after the visit on anonymous condition wondered.

According to the women, if the media coordinator was not speaking her mind she would have quickly disassociated herself from the statement.

The premier investigation has it that the first lady was actually out to have her own pound of flesh on Benue women on this fifth edition of celebrating the Benue woman.

The press coordinator to the first lady Samuel Orbunde in reply to this medium in a text message to confirm allegations that over One Hundred Million Naira (N100M) was released to the planning committee for the organization of this event, described the figure as outrageously outlandish adding that “even though the books are not with me now, this can’t be”.

However, contrary to the coordinator’s claim, The Premier investigation revealed that these alleged amount was applied for and collected by the office of the first lady to enable her host this fifth edition.

It was also gathered that this amount was to be spent on printing of books, wrappers, feeding and transportation of women from their various destinations.

Our investigations revealed that despite these alleged huge amount released by government for the celebration of this event, the money did not seem enough for the first lady who employed other ways of attracting more funds from members of the public including the poor Benue women.

The Premier has further gathered that wrapper uniforms printed for use on the occasion were sold to women at the cost of N3,500 each while tags to identify participants and consequent access to entry into the venue of the occasion were sold N1,500 thereby depriving many rural women who came for the programme access to participate.

Even with a situation where an average population of 253 women from the 23 Local Government councils paid N3,500 as well as other participants to see what the first lady would have made outside what had been collected from government, there was not even ordinary food served at the book lunch, a source lamented.

A supposed participant from Vandeikya Local Government Mrs. Hembadoon Mnega who was sited at the gate of the Aminu Isa Kontagora complex who could not gain access into the hall where the programme was held, in an interview with The Premier lamented that the celebration had a target audience.

She observed that because of the fact that some of them were not within the target, were not allowed in.

She further explained that those within that target initially were wives of Local Government Chairmen and some ten other women to be selected by them to accompany them.

The reason for this, she explained, , was , to perhaps bring in only those women who could be of monetary value.

Under this category she said each chairperson could afford payment of wrappers for at least the 10 participants arguing that this will serve as an already made market together with other things as the case may be rather than bringing just women who will come and fill the space.

Mrs. Mnenga also observed that the development made the celebration which was ordinarily supposed to be for all Benue women, class conscious so that those women who were not in that category were not even allowed into the venue of the occasion.

Another woman also refused entry into the venue for not having a tag but chose to comment on anonymity blamed the organizers of this yearly event.

She said since the invention of this programme five years ago, no improvements have been recorded.

She observed that each time this event is organized most women who will try to come would end up going back to their homes hungry whether provision is normally made for feeding or not.

She particularly blamed the lapses on the part of the aids of the First Lady,    particularly the press coordinator Samuel Orbunde, who in most cases is everything to the first lady from protocol to personal assistant as well as committee chairman of the organizing committee.

She suggested that though the first lady cannot be everywhere at the same time, for effective performance, aids should know their responsibilities to ease their jobs and that of the first lady.

Mrs. Eunice Eba from Otukpo Local Government observed that throughout the five years of this programme, it has not actually integrated the ordinary Benue women since a lot of resources year in year out go on things such as cooking competition, beauty pageant which according to her, had no effect on how to improve the well being of the rural woman.

She said if this programme will mean anything to Benue women, apart from fully integrating the real Benue woman, it should also look at programmes that will positively touch and improve the rural women rather than programmes aimed at driving revenue for the first lady herself. 



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