Dr (Hajiya) Asabe Shehu Yar’adua, is the Founder and President of Asabe Shehu Yar’adua Foundation (ASYARF), an internationally acclaimed non-governmental organization. She was the wife of late political bigwig, General Shehu Yar’Adua, who died in Abakaliki prison during the regime of late General Sani Abacha following his incarceration on allegation of plotting to overthrow the regime of the late maximum ruler.She has been working through her foundation to fulfill the dream of the late general to assist the poor and the down trodden in the society.
In this interview, Dr. AsabeShehuYar’Adua spoke on plans of her foundation to touch more lives in 2016.
One would have expected you to play prominent role in the political scene just like your husband did. What have you been engaged in?
I’ve been engaged in my organization; I work hard to meet up and have my organization going, that is, the Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation.
What were the activities of the organization like in 2015?
Oh my God! We’ve done a lot of projects. We’ve attended to the less privileged, elders in the society, among others.
Yes, as widely acclaimed, your foundation has been putting smiles on the faces of the less privileged members of the society, including the physically challenged, but what will such categories of people be expecting from your organization in the year 2016?
We not only put smiles on their faces, we build futures and make them to be relevant in the society by giving them a sense of belonging and make them believe that they are needed. In 2016, the organization is going to do better than what have been done in 2015.
Can you give us insight into some the specific projects ahead?
That will be discussed later but we have a lot in stuck for 2016 and that I will discuss later, not now.
But, will it include things like empowerment for some of those less privileged members of the society?
Okay, now that you are insisting, let me give you a point: we’re going to empower the local women, the native born girls. We’ll see what we can do for them to empower them because it is good for them to use their hands and work because an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. So, we’re going to empower the native born women and girls.
When you talk of empowerment, are you going to give them financial empowerment or you’re going to help them acquire skills?
Not just monetary empowerment; we’re going to help them to acquire skills. We’re going to empower at least 2,000 women who will empower other 2,000 (who will work with them) making it 4,000 altogether.
How will you access the general economic situation in the country?
Too bad, too bad! That, every Nigerian has to be on his or her feet. The economy is too bad and it’s affecting everyone but the change we all want is already here. My advice is for all Nigerians to look up to that change.
Do you intend to play any major political role in the future?
No, way, no way, not now. Never!
But your organization has been working to sustain the legacies left behind by your late husband, General Shehu Yar’Adua. Are you going to visit the prisons as you’ve done in the past ahead of the next anniversary of his passing away?
Yes, the organization is definitely going to visit the prisons during the 20th anniversary of his passing away just as we did on the 7th anniversary.
What of the forthcoming anniversary in 2016, any activity?
Yes, in 2015, we went with customized gift items to the old people homes, the less privileged and the physically challenged. We did what we can and they were happy that Organization like ASYARF still has them in mind.
What of the year 2016, any activity?
Yes, we have drawn up our action plan already as an organization and it can be viewed on our website; www.asyarf.org . Others will be unveiled when the time comes.
So, what advice do you have for Nigerians in general at this time?
Nigerian should take it easy. I’m sure President Muhammadu Buhari will try and do something to touch the lives of every Nigerians. Being a president who feels for the less privileged and the poor, I’m sure he a plan to carry every Nigerians along.
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