From SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
Borno state Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has announced cash donation of N23.5m as support to families of 47 soldiers killed by Boko Haram last Sunday in Yobe state.
Each family is to receive N500,000 not as compensation for losing their bread winners but assistance to cushion their hardships and sorrow.
The Governor announced the donation at Maimalari cantonment Maiduguri on Friday during his condolence and solidarity visit to the soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole’ theater command who were involved in the fight against Boko Haram Insurgency.
Zulum, who was received by the GOC 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Abdul Khalifa Ibrahim, said:
“The Government and people of Borno state share the grief of the Nigerian military, particularly those of bereaved families of soldiers who died last week at a time the country is faced with pandemic.
“We pray for the repose of the souls of these gallant soldiers and we salute and appreciate their supreme sacrifices. Nothing can compensate for losing these precious brothers and patriotic Nigerians.
“We commiserate with their families and because we are at a tough and unprecedented times, the government of Borno will support each family with N500,000. Importantly also, we hope the unfortunate incident will not dampen the spirit of our gallant military in our shared fight against Boko Haram.”
The governor further spoke to the widows and other women living at the Maimalari Cantonment while directing for an accurate and verifiable list of all the widows and families to be compiled with each identifying her choice of small scale business and bank account details attached to every name so that his government can offer them a start up support.
“You the widows and those married women with children have bore the impact of the sacrifices made by your soldier-husbands. We know your pains and we share them. We are mightily proud of your husbands and we salute them and you who stand by them.
“We will support you in ways we can and we will support you directly through your bank accounts so that you start business and boost the ones you are doing,” he said to the ovation of the women”, Zulum said.
He also announced the release of two additional transformer to enhance power supply at the Maimalari cantonment Maiduguri which was confirmed by the GOC 7 Division NA Maiduguri ,saying,” who said weeks back, a transformer released by the state government is already in used at the cantonment.”
Zulum further announced the drilling of two boreholes with distribution lines to families of the fallen heroes and promised to renovate a dilapidated primary school used by children of soldiers at the barracks to enhanced access to education.
Soldiers and their families openly expressed gratitude to the Governor whom the GOC, General Ibrahim, described as a true father that has accorded genuine support and empathy for the army.