No fewer than 50 children orphaned by Boko Haram insurgents were awarded scholarship with their tuition paid upfront for the next nine years in commemoration of Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State’s 50th birthday.
The award was sponsored by a group of 30 friends, family members and political associates of Governor Kashim Shettima who organized a reception in honour of the governor at the multi-purpose hall of the Government House in Maiduguri.
Secretary of the group, Malam Isa Gusau who is also spokesman to Governor Shettima, announced a list of 30 donors who made payments of various sums into his personal Access Bank account which he in turn issued bank drafts used in paying for the education of the 50 orphans.
Two schools, Maiduguri Capital School and Bara’Imul Iman Integrated School, both based in Maiduguri, were paid to provide education, text and note books, school uniforms and bags for the orphans from their starting of school in September, 2016 to the year 2022 when those admitted into primary schools are expected to graduate and the years 2025 when younger orphans admitted into pre-nursery schools are expected to graduate.
The schools were paid upfront to avoid interruption with the education of the children who cut across different faiths and tribes across the 27 local government areas of the state. A memorandum of understanding was signed between a representative of the two sponsors and directors of the two schools. The schools directors who acknowledged receipt of payment upfront promised to be committed while guardians with whom the orphans live also committed themselves to sending them to school.
Chairman of the occasion and former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who was in Maiduguri, said the organisers of the event chose to support orphans because they had seen Governor Shettima being passionate about educating orphans of the Boko Haram insurgency. Kwankwaso also unveiled a 168-page compendium titled, “ Talks In Defying Terror” which compiled s peeches, interviews, columns, editorials and news reports published and aired by local and international media organizations on the activities of Governor Kashim Shettima from 2011 to 2016.
Governor Shettima whose birthday was celebrated for the first time since he became governor in 2011, thanked the organisers and guests at the well attended occasion. Shettima said he was committed to education of all children in the state and the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, AbdulKareem Lawan, was full of praises for Shettima saying the legislature enjoys working with Shettima because the governor respects them and their independence as an arm of government.
The event was attended by dignitaries from the public and private sector who devoted the day to celebrate Shettima for the first time.