By Bode Olushegun
Borno Governor gives N23.5 million to families of 47 soldiers killed last Sunday
Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum on Friday announced cash support of N23.5 million to families of 47 soldiers killed by Boko Haram in last Sunday attack.
The governor, who was at Maimalari Army Barrack in Maiduguri, said each family of the 47 fallen heroes will be given N500,000 cash, which should not be seen as compensation for the lost priceless lives but as social protection considering the tough economic times caused by COVID-19 inspired lockdowns across the country.
Zulum, received by the G.O.C, 7 Division of the Nigerian army, Brigadier General A.K Ibrahim, was at the barrack to convey condolences and solidarity with the authorities of the military’s counter-insurgency operation in the Northeast, Operation Lafiya Dole.
The governor said: “The Government and people of Borno state share the grief of the Nigerian military, particularly those of bereaved families of the soldiers who died last week at a time the country is faced with pandemic. We pray for the repose 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 Borno Governor, who also used the occasion of his visit to address widows and other family women living at the Maimalari barracks, directed that an accurate and verifiable list of all widows and family be compiled with each identifying her choice of small scale business and bank account details attached to every name so that government can transfer startup capital to them.
He said: “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” Zulum said to the ovation of the women.
The governor also told soldiers at the Maimalari barrack that he would be releasing additional transformer to enhance power supply.
The governor, as confirmed by the 7 Div GOC, had weeks back released a transformer which is already being used at the barrack.
The Governor also used the occasion of his visit to promise the renovation of a dilapidated primary school used by children of soldiers at the barrack in order to increase their access to education.
The 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 military.