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By Mary Amodu. 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has commended the front-line Kogi Central Senatorial aspirant, Barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti, for her unprecedented decision to unveil her credentials.

In a remark through their official social media handle, the agency said “way to go Natasha! Let’s show them how women run the world!!!” Reacting, Natasha said, “indeed, the world watches and wastes no time in identifying credibility.

“It’s paramount Nigerians realize this and begin to take conscious steps in defining the narrative of our representatives across all levels of authority”, she said. Natasha decided to set the pace when she disclosed on her social media handle that she will be publishing her biography and educational documents on Thursday for credibility and transparency.

Below are the biography and educational credentials; Natasha Hadiza Akpoti (born December 9th, 1979) is a Lawyer, MBA professional and a Social Entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Builders Hub Impact Investment Program – a Social Enterprise focused on creating jobs through the sustainable revival of Nigeria’s indigenous and neglected industries.

Born to the family of Late Dr. Jimoh Akpoti and Mrs Ludmila Kravchenko Akpoti of Obeiba- Ihima, in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi state. She is the second of four children and only daughter. Natasha spent her formative years as a child growing up and being primarily educated in her native communities- Okehi and neighboring Okene, Adavi and Ajaokuta towns.

Her most fascinating childhood moments were lessons of philanthropy and empathy for humanity that her father taught by practically treating the poor for free, paying tuition for thousands of school children, supporting hundred of local farmers and traders with their businesses and so much more. She attended Christ the King Nursery and Primary School Okene where she was made the Social Prefect and acknowledged in her testimonial to be very quiet, hardworking and responsible.

Thereafter, she proceeded to Government Girls Unity Secondary School Oboroke, Kogi State and Federal Government College Idoani, Ondo state for her junior secondary and senior Secondary education respectively. Yet again, her exceptional academic and personal performances earned her the leadership position of being the Head Girl at F.G.C. Idoani. Graduating in 1997, Natasha’s Secondary School leaving Certificate and Testimonial acknowledged her of being responsible, hardworking and a diligent prefect.

She holds an LLB in Law from the University of Abuja, and was called to bar in 2005. She also obtained her Masters in Business Administration and doubled up with a PGD Petroleum Law and Policies from the foremost University of Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom. Through shear determination and doggedness she excelled in vital modules such as Strategic Management and Organizational Analysis; Leadership and Decision Making;

International Arbitration; Management in Energy and Natural Resources Industries; International Petroleum Law and ultimately Business Strategy in the Extractive Industries amongst others. Admittedly, knowledge acquired greatly influenced the success of Natasha’s advocacy for the revival of the moribund Ajaokuta in an attempt to position Nigeria as an industrialized nation. Natasha also participated in a high-level workshop organized by the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom which centered on the Bargaining Zone, Anchor Points and Negotiation Tactics) Preparation, First Moves and Concessions) where Natasha scored the most accurate bargain during a delegate-simulation.

While employed as a legal counsel at Brass LNG, an international gas liquefaction company, Natasha participated in and completed many resource development courses some of which are – International Gas Business Management Certificate program offered by the prestigious International Human Resources Development Corporation (IHRDC) in Boston, Massachusetts USA.

Others are, Contracts Used in International Petroleum Development, and Monitoring and Regulation of the Upstream Petroleum Sector (Exploration and Production) both programs were offered by the Center for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP), Scotland, UK.

Interesting enough, Natasha’s becoming an expert in the energy sector didn’t quench her innermost desire to work with marginalized communities to help connect people to self-developing opportunities and create a meaningful legacy.

This drove her to become a Social Entrepreneur and in leaving no knowledge stone unturned, she enrolled at INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneurship Program in Singapore. At INSEAD, Natasha understood that innovating indigenous technologies and building inclusive resilient economies is the only sure way Nigeria can sustainably develop. Reflecting such knowing to Nigeria, she identified the need to create a responsive Ecosystem plunging People, Processes and Products in one responsive space to support Start-Ups and smart ideas.

This interest birthed a partnership between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Small, Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN) of Nigeria and Natasha’s Builders Hub Impact Investment Program (BHiiP) to establish Nigeria’s first integrated Technology Development and Business Growth Hub situated in the city of Uyo, in the coastal, oil producing part of Nigeria.

While Natasha loves traveling to new places, meeting people, reading and watching documentaries; she enjoys nothing more than every moment spent parenting her three wonderful children.

Ebira Women In The Market: Okene
Elsewhere, their contributions to human development not only in terms of the household are invaluable and emblazoned in gold. They occupy very important positions in all spheres of human endeavor. In recognition of those invaluable contributions, holidays are declared in their honor, streets, festivals and institutions are named after them. Cultures that fail to properly harness their power suffer irredeemably as a consequence. Nationally, giant strides are being made towards empowering them and towards the utilization of their immense talent. However, there are still obstacles in pockets of geographical locations notably in northern Nigeria where women are victims of the purdah, the practice of segregation, seclusion and confinement. Ebira might be islamising very rapidly, safe for a minority radical fringe, we are not about to put barrier between the genders and confine our women behind the curtains. Having said that, there is still very much to be desired in terms of empowering women and accord them proper and due respect.

By: Mathew Raji Andah

It was not for nothing that our ancestors instituted festival, Echane, in recognition of the unique contribution the women made, are still making and would continue to make in the development and progress of the Ebira nation. Excellent managers by nature, they see to the upkeep of the family while the men, at least in the past, are away to work. The women bear the babies in their womb, see to it that the children are well clothed, well fed and the materials for the schooling are provided. Most of the domestic work that women do in their household, vital as it is, are not included in the GDP. Increasingly though women are overtaking the men as breadwinners, running businesses, ministries and corporations.

The international community is gradually coming to the realisation that the key to eradicating poverty lies, to a greater extent, in supporting women for inclusion in governance and active participation in the political economy of the developing countries. Anebira who normally cry foul of perceived marginalisation are themselves guilty of marginalizing the womenfolk. The ceiling appears to be closed to them in terms of appointment, selection or election as councillors or local government chairpersons. Till date, only Hajia Obadaki jnr has been able to break the ceiling as councillor in Okene LGA when it was then in Kwara state.
Historically, Ebira woman has evolved over the past century from a daughter growing up in a patriarchal household of a rural African village helping the mother in domestic choirs to adolescence and marriage contracted with the blessing of the parents to a suitable suitor who must be of the right pedigree and must have proven beyond doubt that he can maintain and care for his wife or wives. After an elaborate traditional ceremony including mezewueyi, otanuvogeh and ohigi the new wife is expected to be obedient and to serve the husband and his relations dutifully. She was more or less the property of the husband and would be transferred to the husband’s brother, kuogu in event of his death. Christianity, Islam and western education exerted profound influence. As young girls, they now go to school, earn diplomas or degrees and some are making career in the professions.

It is sickening to hear allegations of witchcraft, occult practices and purveyors of something sinister levelled against our women by the men folk who are perhaps envious of the successes being made by them in their callings. Natural and man-made phenomena like death and sickness are explained away as the work of diabolic women. This mentality, rooted in our culture, reflects a deep-seated gender bias and compounds the social problem inherent in the society today. It diverts attention from finding the real cause(s) of death and sickness. It also hinders any targeted preventive measures thereby putting the general population at grave danger. In 2000, when the popular singer, Mr Ofelele Salawu died in an auto accident along the notorious Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road, supporters wrongfully accused a lady from his hometown, Eika, of causing the accident. The hapless lady and her house were set afire.

There is no evidence in support of witchcraft or occult practice. The evidence in support of their good character, industry and resourcefulness is just too overwhelming. Ebira women might be blamed for not taking their reproductive decision seriously enough to deny association and or bearing babies with irresponsible men or boys but they have never had any direct involvement as perpetrators in the violence that we have seen so far. On the contrary, the women had been victims. The time to stop treating our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers as mere footnotes or an object is now. Let the domestic violence stop accordingly and the women themselves must be more assertive, insist on respect and equal treatment.
Natasha Akpoti
Natasha Akpoti Biography
This is for all of our readers, that often send us email regarding Natasha Akpoti (Is Natasha Apoti Married?), if shes Married and asking us about her personal life and work, well in this post i will answer all of your queries. In an interview with Veronica Ogbole on TheWomensTorch, Natasha revealed a lot about her self which answers all of your question s whatsoever you might have about her read it below after the cut.

Natasha Hadiza Akpoti, a lawyer also has an M.A. in gas and oil. A former employee of Liquefied, a natural Gas Industry in Brass, River State, she is a social entrepreneur and reformer. She is the founder of the Builders Hub Impact Investment Program and Builders Hub Foundation, a social enterprise focused on creating jobs through the sustainable revival of Nigeria’s local industries. Natasha is also a philanthropist, supporting 600 school children in Kogi State and 100 university students across Nigeria.
She meets with the Women’s Torch’s Veronica Ogbole in her Abuja Office.

Who is Natasha Akpoti ?

I’m a mother of 3 children, my father is from Ihima, Okene Local Government, Nigeria and my mother is from Ukraine. An introvert, I love my own space, always question the existence of life, the deeper meaning of existence and service to humanity. I become transformed talking to an audience. When talking to people I feel at home because of the energy that comes from the people. I am connected to other people, because I hate injustice. One of the things my father taught me, has become my nature – to protect the weak, the vulnerable in the society. This makes some people think my intentions are against the government.

In our society, the strong are not playing their protective role that is why there is injustice. I was able to identify this fact during my advocacy for a better steel company in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Democracy is not practiced for the people.

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Some people have asked if I want to go into politics. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Strive Masiyiwa from Zimbabwe are my role models because they are social entrepreneurs. They are billionaires and they give a lot of their personal resources to create impact in the Society. That is what is missing in Nigeria. We wait for Bill Gates to come and take care of Polio for us. There are a lot of gaps between people’s development and the economy. The only thing that will make me go into politics is if I see Nigeria becoming what I want. You have to make the change and the difference you want to see in the world. People are calling me already, I keep asking if they are ready for an honest service?

Natasha Bags Africa’s Patriotic Amazon Award by the League of African Development Students (LEADS). @April 2017.
From the lessons learnt from my advocacy, there is a problem between the leadership and followers ideology. We don’t know who we are, we are in love with our oppressors, what I call ‘Stuck Home Syndrome’. We protect our oppressor, just because of tribe and religion. Nigerian Pastors are the wealthiest in the country, while the people are languishing in poverty, don’t we see what is going on in other parts of the world? We’re inviting Beyonce, Bouncy and we’re are the poorest. The power lies with the people, but the real problem is with the people. Before my advocacy, I used to think it was with the leaders, but it’s like 30 people ruling over 80 million people.

Life was difficult, my father died when I was 18 years and in the 1st year in University, life became difficult, relatives that I approached for help encouraged me to go into prostitution. Those who are supposed to protect and nurture the young, are the same people that destroy the future of the youth.

The vulnerability of a woman gave me an insight – I traded, travelled to Lagos to buy and sell roofing sheets, made and sold Zobo (a local drink) with my mum and younger siblings, all to earn money to take care of the family. I was not attracted by the glamorous way of life, I did not look down on any little business.  And this up till now.

Some people feel I should be trading in oil.  No, I will rather work with the people. I like doing things that matter most in life. The thing that matters most in life comes to me – people.   People come with other things, opportunities, ideas, the grace that comes with it. That is one lesson learnt, when you do good whole heartedly without expecting anything in return, God pays you back. I began to have things that money cannot buy.

When I broke up with my husband, I lived in a boys quarters, I tell my story proudly, I am not ashamed of it, someone somewhere may learn from it.  I started from the rock bottom I sat down and told myself that I had a bigger calling somewhere, I was not afraid, because I knew I had to connect with my truth.  I made a promise to myself, set my goals.  God said we should speak into our future, we should set our goals, clarify our vision and purpose, a road map, it will be easy to follow.  I was motivated to follow my dream to have better things in life. We have to have a bigger vision for our self, I worked hard, without thinking of the years I did not have money, because I had a goal and vision, I took my first step in faith, I had my future defined, I had my challenges, but I looked at them as hazy curves. But now I have my Foundation, my properties and investments.

To make money is an art, not taught in school. I read a lot of motivational books, the world owes you nothing, every time, I spent pitying myself was a waste of time, I want to be a role model to my children, I prayed, connected everything to my purpose. I have never been more confident and sure of myself than now, even if I die today, I have lived a fulfilled life, because I have touched lives, I feel fulfilled.

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What motivates you to do what you do?

Since I was a little girl, I’ve had the ambition is to do something to improve the lives of the poor. I grew up in the village, with my father, a medical doctor, trained in Russia with his communist lifestyle. He rejected a job in Lagos and choose to work in the village with the people in Ihima, in Okene Local Government area of Kogi State, where he comes from.

With my father, I experienced first-hand what it is to work with the people. Working in an Oil and Gas Company, I woke up one day and said to myself that I was not in the right place and that this was not my purpose. So, I resigned and decided to go into Social Entrepreneurship. Many people have asked her why? That it is strange in Nigeria. The Social Entrepreneur works to improve the ecosystem around the grass roots entrepreneur. “Anything that surround, anything that traces, motivates the grass root to survive, because Government is insensitive, too far away from the people. 

The Social Entrepreneur is the bridge to bring that which is needed, bring a lot out of the box, like the Ajaokuta Steel Industry. What policy, what advice can be given to the Government to stimulate the ecosystem of the vulnerable, the advocacy to bring back what Ajaokuta was, the opportunities – employment, poverty reduction, job creation and reduction of social vices, through the steel company.

If the Ajaokuta Steel industry is revived, Kogi state will be able to generate money, investors, not the Government will build hospitals, other industries will be created, the steel industries will be the mother of all industries – construction, automobile, agriculture, equipment, defense/security, ammunition, packages, food and cooking utensils – so many through one big industry. Once the Ajaokuta Industry works, except if you are lazy, you will get something doing, which is the way to stimulate the ecosystem.

As a member of the Women in Nigeria (WIN) Organisation, an umbrella organization of 21 women organizations, I realized that Nigerian women are too quiet despite that fact that we are about 48% of the population. One begins to wonder despite the fact that more women participate in voting during elections, we decides to vote for men. I asked myself why Nigerian women are so silent ? I decided to commit my time to supporting other women.

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Natasha Reiterates Commitment To Serve Humanity, Distributes Food Items To Widows, Physically Challenged

What is Natasha Akpoti greatest achievement ?

Natasha Bags Africa’s Patriotic Amazon Award by the League of African Development Students (LEADS) @April 2017
I will not say it is any project, my greatest achievement is living my own truth. Speaking honestly about a situation is the only weapon. ‘He who speaks the truth says all’, I have had the courage to speak the truth, turned down bribes, I just feel that Nigerians need the truth. I have not achieved the greatest yet.  So far, I have adopted 600 children in my home state, Kogi State.  I pay their school fees, provide educational materials for them. I am sponsoring 100 young people in University’s across Nigeria. I empower women. I have business clusters that create employment for people. I offer entrepreneurship seminars free for university students.

Natasha Interacting with her Adopted Primary School Pupils/Orphans @May 2017
How have you overcome the barriers, visible or invisible to get to where you are today?
I see my challenges as slow progress. Many obstacles I face are due to the fact that I do not play the game the way people expect it to be. Not playing the norm, nor do I have godfathers, relations. A man, a bank owner, once told me that I do not have pedigree, because I wanted a loan of 10 Million naira, I even begged for 5 million, as the time, all I had were my ideas. He refused until I met all requirements. During the same period, a former military president’s daughter made a loan request, which was granted right there. I asked why, he replied “she is the daughter of a former military President, her father is her security.”

Natasha and her Adopted Primary School Pupils/Orphans @May 2017
I then told myself and prayed that God should build my name to make me feel less than human. Then I said that is not enough. I want to become the woman of my dreams, for my sake and for others like me. I decided I wanted to be a Responsible Investor, Social Entrepreneur to help guide investment that matters, that is accountable to greater impact for a greater number of greater people. I always consults on impact options; always want to go for the greatest impact to create wealth, creating value, creating opportunities for the undeserved people, “ that is where her joy is.

Natasha and Some Community Stakeholders and Traditional Rulers During the Opening Ceremony of Builders Hub Community Learning Resource Centre in Okehi Local Government, Kogi State.
Sometimes, I feel as if I’m living in the wrong country, sometimes you need the will be able to make a change. It takes somebody with a different idea to drive people in the right direction. It’s strange but for me, value is not monetary. I want to build my wealth in the hands of people and for that no compromise. As mothers, we should be role models, imbibe patriotic values in our children. Even though I learnt many skills and value in the steel industry, I was moulded by my father. He instilled all this in me. Service for humanity is my foundation.

Other achievements I’m proud of are the building of the Hub Impact Investment – Nigeria’s first Entrepreneurship campus in the Niger Delta region through my Foundation Builder’s Hub with financial support from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

What is your greatest fear or failure ?

None – I view life differently and embrace it as a lesson. I do not see my being single again as a failure, if you are married fine, if you are single mother, be a good one, every time in life, you have a new page to write your story, make sure in your story you love and accept your truth, teach our children the arts of entrepreneurship at an early age.

I also want to achieve my dreams early enough to have more time for myself. I will love to remarry again, but it is not a do or die thing. I do not want a man that will come between me and my project. He should have strong character, very principled. As stated by Andrew Carnegie, the wealthy businessman who wrote the book “the gospel of wealth”, there – the people, the process the product must all be aligned” Most people do not know how to align the three.

NTA’s Weekend Deal: One on One with Natasha on the Topic “The Extreme Level of Poverty and the Negative Spillover Especially in Child Labour @June 2017

What advice do you give young women who aspire to become leaders?

True, our educational system does not accord robust course choices, the system has a narrow scope when it comes to career choices, our educational system needs to open up, and we need to be up to date. It is key to the demands of the future, the world in going into the 5th industrialization.

For now, we need to look inward into our strengths and opportunities, in tune with the skill set of today. Young women should start now- there is never a perfect time, do not compete with anybody, everyone has a unique calling and gift, follow your own truth.

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Interview by Veronica Ogbole
In her continuous efforts to give back to the society and put smile on the faces of the needy, the founder of Builders Hub Impact Investment Program (BHIIP), Barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti, distributed food items to widows, and physically challenged persons across the five local government of Kogi Central Senatorial District.

Commenting on the exercise, the personal assistant to the philanthropist, Comrade Hamza Lamisi said the exercise is aimed at making the widows and the physically challenged persons happy during the festive period and feel the joy of the Sallah celebration.

In his words, “the benevolent was made irrespective of faith and to instill hope in the minds of the needy that there are still people who consider the pain of others as their own.

“For the exercise to reach the target beneficiaries, we constituted coordinators in each ward of the five local government of Kogi Central Senatorial District who monitored the distribution and the items were distributed early for the beneficiaries to make use of it during the Eid-el-fitr”, he said.
According to him, the distribution of the food items is the first phase of the exercise, “there will be banquet for the 600 children she adopted while a similar event will be held on Monday at LGA Primary School, opposite Hotel Dabras Okene to celebrate Sallah with the less privileged and other members of her homeland”, he said.

Expressing his gratitude, the President of Kogi Central People Living with Disability Forum, Comrade Umar Zakariau Shaibu said they’ve been following the philanthropic works of Barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti and have been longing for an opportunity to meet her and register their unalloyed support for the godly path she has chosen to tread.

“We would be very happy if we can meet her someday to tender our plights to her and register our unalloyed support for her godly work she is doing.

“We have our own association, if anything that is coming from the kindhearted philanthropist can be channelled to it, we would be very pleased”, he said.

Emphasising the strengths in disability, Shaibu said people should not underestimate the power of people living with disabilities to contribute to the development of the society.

“You cannot spell disability without ability, we want people to know that there’s always ability in disability. It is our heartfelt prayers that God will raise people like Barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti who will see the power in disability instead of looking down at people living with disabilities”, he said.

The joy of the widows were unprecedented, as they continued to pray for God to protect and guide Barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti to do more.

“Natasha has done what others could not do, I have never met people like her, she paid our children’s school fees, carter for their needs and still give us food to eat without expecting anything return.
“It is our fervent prayers that God will continue to protec her for us and our children”, one of the widows said.

Appreciating the largesse of the philanthropist, the president Kogi Central Widows Association, Hajia Mariam Aliyu, said it is only God that will appreciate the efforts of Barrister Natasha Hadiza Apkoti to ameliorate the plights of the widows.

“Natasha has distinguished herself as the hope of the hopeless, her love for the widows and her zeal to always wade into the plight of the widows make her to be unique. It is our prayers that God will continue to strengthen her to do more for the widows.

“On behalf of the widows of Kogi Central Senatorial District, we are appealing to her to come and represent the people of Kogi Central Senatorial District, in order to bring the best dividends of democracy to our land. We hope our message get to her and listen to our appeal”, she said.

By Zacchaeus Ozovehe.

In Nigeria today, there is no gainsaying that there are plethora of political leaders with their diverse modus operand. As a keen observer of the political scene over the years, it is not out of place to broadly categorize them into three different classes. First is the selfish leaders whose guiding principles are self aggrandizement. They come into public offices only for what they can get for their immediate family, cronies, clan and to some extent, their religious members. Their empowerment scheme is unfortunately geared towards satisfying these petty and divisive tendencies.

The second and yet sinister category of Nigeria leaders are the callous and wicked ones. As soon as they get the mandate of the masses, they become detached from the people. The masses are left to lick their wound and jettisoned to the harrowing sea of poverty, hunger, lack, unemployment and wanton insecurity. Of course, these callous and wicked leaders have empowerment and charity scheme too but to the political thugs. Impoverished youths whose future have been mortgaged by these leaders are the willing tool in their hands for fighting perceived political rivals. No one dare crosses their paths.

However, amidst the above social vices inducing set of leaders, are leaders that are meek, genuine and having a heart flowing with milk of human kindness. To these leaders, the theory of welfarism as propounded by the British economist John Hicks should be the basis of human existence. The economist had argued that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the foundation of morals and legislation.

The chairman of Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Hajia Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman seems to be one of the students of John Hicks and of course, readily fits into the third category of Nigerian leaders. In a bid to reach out to the less privileged in the society, the Ihima-born international business woman had birthed and registered a group called “Association of Woman of Substance”. For close to a decade now, Hajia Hassiat has not being weary of her philanthropic gesture. Of course, to her, charity is a way of life even if the endeavour has latent adverse effect on her personal business, her people’s welfare is utmost!

Recently, her Obeiba residence in Ihima was awash with hundreds of women that came for the usual distribution of food items during Ramadan season. Asked the motivation for her untiring effort to give despite the teething economic situation in the country, Hajia Hassiat said: “right from when I grew up and became a woman, I have always had this spirit of giving to the people. So, I only developed it when I came into politics. I have always have in mind that people could need and hungry.”

If philanthropy is inheritable, Hajia Hassiat Suleiman, no doubt, has got the trait from her father who had gone to be with his ancestors many years ago. In Ihima today, honesty, charity and community development efforts come to mind when the name “Mallam Suleiman Odeh” is mentioned. Popularly known as Salami Odeh, Hajia’s father would displease himself to ensure that his neighbours are faring well. To Odeh’s family, philanthropy is a hobby and way of life.

While reminiscing about her background and late father, Hajia Hassiat has this to say: I came from a very humble background. I knew when things used to be hard with my parents. So, I only but think back when I see people that are in need. I can say categorically that this spirit of giving was adopted from my late father. My father would always go out there to look for people who might be hungry to join him in eating whenever food is ready. He was not always okay with the idea of having his stomach filled while his neighbours are hungry.

The MIREMCO boss was quick to urge her women to sustain their prayers and support for the success of the present administration led by Governor Yahaya Bello. “I will continue to appeal to the people of Kogi State, members of the Association of Woman of Substance and Nigeria at large. Our collective prayers are needed for the government of the day. This hardship is not peculiar to Kogi State alone. This initial hardship would usher in a new lease of life. A lot of damage has been done by the past administrations and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Yahaya Bello have only come to repair them. I urge everyone to keep faith with the government because there will soon be light at the end of the tunnel”, Hajia Hassiat admonished her people.

Amidst distribution of the food items, the visibly elated members of the group showered encomiums on Hajia Suleiman for ameliorating their plights. The Coordinator of the group, Mrs Akpata Aishat Jumai who appreciated Governor Yahaya Bello for finding their leader worthy of serving in his government prayed God would give him the wisdom to pilot the affairs of the state aright.

Hajia Hassiat Suleiman is not a leader that broods religious sentiments and segregation. That is why Mrs Esther David, a member of the group, described her as ‘God-sent leader’ to them. In December last year, and even as recently as April 2018, Hajia distributed food materials, cash gifts and fabrics to all members for the Christmas and Easter celebrations respectively and this was not done along religious line. “If hunger, depression and lack is not a respecter of faith, our leader does not want to know your religion before she helps you.” Mrs Esther argued.

On her part, Mrs Ayijimoh Siyaka wondered the manner of leader Hajia Hassiat has become. “In a society where some elected leaders are daily growing in propensity to ditch the masses whose mandate they enjoy, Hajia Hassiat who is not indebted to us in any way has always taken it upon herself that our welfare is taken care of. She will grow from strength to strength.” She prayed.

The story of Hajia Hassiat is that of resilience and dedication to the welfare of her fellow being. Her efforts, of course have not gone unnoticed as she has garnered awards from reputable organisations in recent times for selfless service to humanity. The merit award given to her recently by the Ihima chapter of Nasri Min Allah -el-Fat’hi (NASFAT) was yet another recognition for her course of ensuring a better living for the people. Our society would have been more conducive only if we have lots of Hajia Hassiat Suleiman as leaders.

Source: Kogireports