Group Denies Defrauding 2,000 Women

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Aminu Bello Masari

Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The Katsina State Coordinator of a non-governmental organisation, Women Development Initiative, popularly known as ‘Mata Zalla’, Hajiya Saratu Sa’a Musawa, on Tuesday denied allegation that she defrauded 2,000 women in the state, describing it as blackmail and lies.

The State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, in a statement through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, recently disowned the group for defrauding women.

But Musawa, while addressing journalists in her office on Tuesday, said the statement was mischievous and a calculated attempt by the people she described as blackmailers whose aim was to tarnish the “good image” of the Initiative.

According to her, “Its all lies and it was an attempt to blackmail and tarnish our image. It was only 2,000 women from Katsina Central Senatorial District that paid the sum of N1,300 each for the processing of their respective membership of this association.

“This is the breakdown of how the N1,300 was spent; registration form is N150, file jacket is N100, while members’ ID card is N700 and the total amount is N950. The balance of N350 was kept for the maintenance of this office that has 15 staff”.

She added, “Out of the N2.6 million generated from the sale of these forms, N1.9 million was utilised for the processing of the membership documentation for the 2,000 women. We have so far distributed N10 million to these 2,000 women, that is N5,000 to each of 2,000 registered women”.

The leader of the group, however urged the remaining 100 women to come forward for their N5,000 which she said was delayed as a result of the “mischievous” statement.

She called on women in the state to disregard the statement, saying that: “Governor Masari is fully in support of our activities. We met him and said that he is not aware of such statement and he advised us to go ahead with our activities”.

Meanwhile, effort made by THISDAY to reach the Senior Special Adviser to the state governor on media, Malumfashi, on whether his boss was not aware of the said statement was unsuccessful, as his telephone lines were not reachable at the time of going to press.