The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, says a report that she diverted Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) meant for the entire country to Bauchi State, her husband’s state of origin, is false.
Farouq stated this in a statement on Friday by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, her Special Assistant on Media.
It would be recalled that the Bauchi-based group, “APC Initiative for Good Governance”, in a statement signed by one Nasiru Cigari accused the Minister of abandoning her office and relocating to Bauchi to push the political interest of her husband, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique (Rtd), who is contesting the 2023 governorship of Bauchi State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But the Minister’s camp has reacted and lashed out at the accusers.
“Hon. Minister Umar Farouq wishes to categorically state herewith, that she will not be deterred by belly-aching detractors who will stop at nothing to derail the lofty Social Investment Programmes of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration whose declared agenda is to lift 100 million vulnerable Nigerians out of poverty by 2030,” Anibeze said.
“Since the creation of the Ministry in August 2019, at least 20 million Nigerians have so far been empowered through various programmes and initiatives of the Ministry. This includes the upskilling of 1,064,774 youths in the graduate and non-graduate programmes under the N-Power scheme, of which the number of beneficiaries in Bauchi state ranked 11th out of the 36 states and the FCT. The highest number of beneficiaries are from Benue, Delta, Enugu, FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Osun, Oyo and Rivers states before Bauchi.
“Under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, a total of 9.9 million children from primary 1 to 3 in 53,000 public schools nationwide are currently being fed one hot nutritious meal every school day, with Bauchi state being the 4th highest in terms of benefitting number of primary schools behind Kano, Benue and Kaduna states. In addition, Kano state has the highest number of children being fed, followed by Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Jigawa, Benue before Bauchi.
“The Hon Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, recently flagged off the Cash Grant for Vulnerable Groups on July 4, 2022, in Oshogbo, Osun state. The faceless group may wish to explain to its followers, why Hajiya Sadiya Farouq did not start the distribution of Cash to Vulnerable Groups in Bauchi State.
“Sadiya Umar Farouq is a detribalized Nigerian politician, mother and wife, philanthropist and devout Muslim. She spreads love evenly to the poor and vulnerable regardless of their state of origin, tribe or religion.
“Ordinarily, the Ministry would not have expended its time and energy or give credence to the malicious report by responding to this hopeless group of detractors, but for the sake of putting the records straight.
“Sadiya Umar Farouq is a native of Zamfara state and married to a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique. By virtue of her marriage to an indigene of Bauchi state, the full rights of any Bauchi woman have been bestowed on her. Therefore, the unregistered and unknown APC Initiative for Good Governance group cannot stop her from reaping or sowing the seeds of development in her husband’s state to the extent of its rightful share from the Ministry she heads, neither can their mischievous falsehood prevent her from supporting the political interest of her husband.
“At no time did Umar Farouq divert Social Investment Programmes meant for the 36 states and the FCT to Bauchi, nor did she ever abandon the responsibilities in her office to relocate to Bauchi. On the contrary, she has been working tirelessly and assiduously to ensure that no vulnerable Nigerian is left to go hungry and to also lift them higher than where she met them.
“The Hon. Minister immediately after flagging off the Cash Grant for Vulnerable Groups left for Saudi Arabia to perform her religious rites with permission from Mr. President, and is expected back in office this week.
“We cannot help the APC Initiative for Good Governance if the group is terrified or intimidated by the profile and giant strides of an unperturbed Minister, whose primary focus is to deliver on her mandate in the Ministry.
“While Sadiya Umar Farouq remains focused and committed to Mr. President’s vision of empowering Nigerians by rolling out one programme after the other to ensure inclusivity for the Nigerian Poor and Vulnerable, some idle minds and politically dislocated persons in Bauchi State, who have precious little or nothing to offer and are only out to needlessly breed trouble and generate discontent are harping wastefully on the Hon Minister.
“The Poor and. Vulnerable, for whom the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been created are excited with Sadiya Umar Farouq’s exemplary leadership. She is working hard to reduce poverty in the country, in line with Mr President’s Agenda of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of Poverty. The Minister, and indeed the whole Ministry, is unshaken by these elementary-level stunts and will not relent in its momentum to effectively deliver innovative and impactful solutions to empower the poor and vulnerable in our country.”