Says ‘she is a beneficiary of my empowerment scheme’
By Emem Idio
Vice Chairman of Kolokuma/Opukuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Mr. Brian Alagha, has denied media reports that he appointed a 118 years old elderly woman as his special adviser.
In a statement by an aide to the council’s Vice Chairman, Mr Woyeingidipamo Victor, in Yenagoa, he said the vice chairman never appointed Ma Dani Orogono as his special adviser, but included her in his empowerment scheme with monthly stipend, which he uses in supporting aged men and women in the council.
He said: “The attention of of the Vice Chairman of Kolokuma Opokuma council in Bayelsa State has been drawn to some misconceptions been circulated in the media about a recent inclusion of a senior citizen of the state in the special scheme for the elderly.
“We will like to state clearly that Ma Orogono was not appointed, but was included as a beneficiary of the scheme which is part of the Vice Chairman’s programme to cater for the elderly and in line with the Ijaw traditions of giving honour to the oldest person in a community.
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“Secondly, the letter that is in circulation was not duly signed by the Vice Chairman, who ought to sign such appointment letter. The old woman in question can barely walk or talk and her inclusion was to enable her benefit from the monthly stipends.
“Furthermore, this is not the first time the person of the Vice Chairman has reached out to the elderly, widows, youths and children of the council as there are periodical engagements in terms of empowerment programmes for women and widows where they are encouraged to go into small and medium scale businesses.
“Finally, we will like to let everyone know that there are several beneficiaries of the special scheme for the elderly and that everyone deserves equal opportunity no matter the age as this is the problem with our society when it concerns the old. They deserve love, respect and honour.”