There has been a lot of talk about delegates to the on-going National Conference, those sleeping, those too old or sick and if it should be going on at all. Yadoma is the last daughter of a philanthropist and promoter of female education, the late Alhaji (Dr) Zannah Bukar Umaru Mandara, the Zanna Dujima of Borno State. She is a graduate of environmental biology (University of Maiduguri, 2010) and an executive committee member of the Nigerian Youth Forum. Yadoma participated actively in the #OccupyNigeria protests in 2012.
Seeing as she is an activist, I was interested to know how she deat with the issue of the controversial payment to the delegates. Yadoma decided to receive her millions of naira in allowance from the National Conference and to use it to start a foundation. She blogged;
As a delegate to the National Conference – the youngest of them all, i am humbled to be part of the process of making my country better, I am willing to make modest sacrifices so that my generation and generation yet unborn can live in better country.
The Federal Government has rationalized that delegates should be paid sitting allowances, in all honesty I am modestly comfortable and able to cater for my immediate needs. Some of my colleagues have indicated their intention not to receive the money which in itself is a pointer to the fact that we still have men and women with high redeeming qualities among us. However, I am not unmindful of the appalling poverty and great need that exists where I come from and the people I represent. We have a situation where widows and orphans have been abandoned by society, these are individuals made vulnerable by the insurgency. They have no idea how to pay the school fees of their children and wards, and how to eat at least once a day. We have a scenario where things we take for granted mean the world to others -physically challenged people who will never be able to afford wheel chairs and thousands of people who can’t afford medical care because they are poor and have been injured by terrorists. I want them to consider my sitting allowance as a gift to them and humanity.
I do not do this for praise nor to look good in the eyes of the society, I am doing this because it is the right thing to do. I have received my first payment which is the sum of 1,460,000 naira yesterday evening (21st March 2014) from the National Conference. I hereby pledge to use my allowances as a seed grant and start a foundation that will cater for vulnerable women especially widows and children in Borno State, if you understand their hopeless and helpless state in Borno State and Northern Nigeria in general you will support me in this new drive to put a smile on their faces.
In a recent blog post with the excerpt below, she talks about receiving an Easter greeting card from the President and wishing he would show such concern to the residents of the villages affected by the terrorism of Boko Haram.
After the plenary session was adjourned till Monday, yes! Monday because no session on Fridays, the deputy Chairman said we should hang around, that the secretariat had something to give all the delegates.
Names were called one after the other – I actually thought it was our committee classification or something important until my name was called and I collected it. It was an envelope and therein was a green card. Lo and behold, it is a card from President Jonathan wishing delegates a Happy Easter celebration.
If only wishes were horses… I would have wished Mr President sent those cards to the People that deserve it the most – the people of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Benue, Zamfara and other sates washed with sorrow and sadness, they need happiness than this display of concern over the distinguished delegates, who sleep under air conditioned room, play scrabble and know no fear or sorrow.
I like her mindset and appreciate how she is trying in her own little way to make the conference open and accessible. I’ll certainly be following her blog. For those interested in reaching her, she can be found at the following social media pages.