The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has defended the N6 million cash gift promised to two Nigerians who recently regained their freedom from Saudi Arabia detention over drug trafficking allegation.
Zainab Aliyu, who travelled for Lesser Hajj in December, 2018, had been detained by the Saudi Arabian authorities for being in possession of banned substance. The 22-year-old student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, spent five months in detention.
Another Nigerian, Ibrahim Abubakar, who was also detained in Saudi Arabia, was released alongside Zainab after it was discovered that the banned substances found in their possession had allegedly been planted in their luggage by a drug syndicate.
Following their release, Governor Abdulaahi Ganduje of Kano State received the victims in Kano on Wednesday was reported to have promised to compensate them with N3 million each for their plight.
But a Twitter user, Yinka Kolawole (@YinkaKola), who didn’t see the need for the financial support, criticized the governor’s benevolence.
Kolawole tweeted in reaction: “Thank God for her release… but the ‘N3m financial support’ is for what exactly? A student whose family could afford to send her on lesser hajj? What is wrong with Nigerian political office holders? I bet the governor will not spend his personal money like that.”
The twitter user and others who reacted to the news, described the governor’s largesse as “hypocritical”
“Our country has nothing to give to the common man or woman but always has strategic means of showing care to those in need. In as much as it will generate public praise from their fooled populace,” one David Oghenekaro Atebefia (@DAtebefia) also tweeted.
But reacting in defense of the governor’s action, Dabiri-Erewa, who had just been appointed Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission by President Buhari, criticized those questioning the cash gifts. She said both Zainab and Abubakar would have incurred some losses during their detention in Saudi Arabia and deserved to be compensated.
“Where is your conscience, And empathy?Can you quantify how much Ibrahim, a businessman has lost in his business 5 months in detention? AndZainab’s parents? That abandoned everything, went from pillar to post, to save daughter??And Zainab, who bakes part time to earn extra income?” questioned Dabiri-Erewa.