BY ADEYEMI AKANJI, BAUCHI – Governor Bala Mohammed has expressed pain and displeasure of the error and misconception trailing his appointment of a Special Assistant on Women Affairs with specific attention on unmarried women in the state.

Mohammed explained that as was clearly stated in the letter, Mrs Balaraba Ibrahim’s choice was based on her abilities and gender advocacy, adding that unfortunately, while producing her letter of appointment, the word “UNMARRIED” was inadvertently introduced into the letter.

The Governor said; “This is a clear mistake of the head; not of the heart which the Government sincerely regrets”.

Governor Mohammed stressed that he is sincerely pained over the error contained in the appointment letter, adding however that he has taken responsibility for any stress caused the women of Bauchi State and elsewhere including considerable distress and embarrassment.

This was contained in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Muktar Gidado, in which the Governor Mohammed directed that his personal apologies be conveyed to all women of Bauchi State, particularly the widows and divorcees whose interests he has vowed to protect and advance, always.

Mohammed therefore enjoined the good people of Bauchi State to put the matter behind so that, together, they can sustain the achievements that have so far been recorded in diverse areas such as youth empowerment, infrastructural development, rehabilitation of schools and primary healthcare centres, amelioration of the plight of senior citizens and retirees and the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.

Mohammed further said; “Owing to various interpretations given to the word “unmarried” which appeared in parenthesis, after the title, we find it compelling to make the following clarifications:

The statement further states; “As a responsible Government, the Administration of Senator Bala Mohammed has always placed high premium for the inclusion of everybody in Bauchi State, in its socio-economic policies.

“In this regard, the Government has made the recognition, empowerment and rehabilitation of vulnerable groups, as well as women and the youth, a primary focus of social inclusion.

“Anyone who is familiar with the socio-cultural and economic environment of Bauchi State will agree that widows and divorcees, in many cases for no cause of theirs, constitute a very significant segment of the vulnerable population of the state and who, by the fact of citizenship, deserve to be addressed and accorded some special attention.

“It is instructive that some states in the Northern part of the country have long recognised the importance of rehabilitating this group whose plight, if not ameliorated, could and most often, lead to other social problems.

“It is a matter of interest that, in recent times, members of these groups, who are mothers, sisters, friends, ex-wives and above all, citizens and human beings, have been sending representations to the Government to establish a channel of communication whereby their plight can be addressed like those of other groups in the state.

“After due consideration and in keeping with his campaign pledge not to leave anybody behind, the Governor graciously acceded to their request hence the appointment of a Special Assistant on Women Affairs, with the specific responsibility of handling matters related to widows and divorcees, not “UNMARRIED” women.

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