The Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, collapsed monday at the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State while addressing vulnerable IDP women inside a store in the camp.
Alhassan, who was in crutches when she arrived the camp, and after addressing the IDPs, entered the store to discuss with some of the said vulnerable women sequel to an allegation by some foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on violation of some girls and women at the IDPs’ camps in the North-east. While discussing with the women, she collapsed, but was quickly assisted to a chair and given a bottle of Coke to drink, which revived her.
According to some of her aides, she had been diagnosed with low sugar, a problem that creates serious weakness of the body. But despite her state of health, she managed to explain to journalists at the camp that her fact-finding mission to Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States tend to confirm the foreign NGOs’ allegation. The minister had earlier said that she was at the camp to give a message from President Muhammadu Buhari to the displaced persons, who wanted them to cheer up despite the hardship because everything was being done to ensure that they go back to their homes.
She told the IDPs that the president was touched by their suffering and that was why he sent her to come and donate relief materials and felicitate with them. Alhassan also paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Adamawa State, Alhaji Muhammadu Bindow, and told him that her visit to the IDPs was to investigate allegations of violation of girls and women and the compound issues of orphans and the vulnerable. She used the occasion to remind the governor of calls by various women groups on the need to return the women development centre, which was given to the Court of Appeal for its use.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ahmad Sajoh, in his remarks, told the minister and her staff that the governor celebrated the last Ed-el-Kabir with the IDPs at the Malkohi camp. According to Sajoh, the governor and his cabinet, including some All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts ate and danced with the displaced persons.
In his brief remarks, Bindow stressed the need for peaceful co-existence, adding: “Without peace, no one would readily do anything.” The Deputy Governor, Mr. Martins Babale, in a vote of thanks, observed that keeping the IDPs was still a problem because of the state of the economy. According to him, the state was still expecting about 56,000 displaced persons from Cameroun.