Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum on Tuesday flagged off a scholarship scheme worth N300 million in support of 300 orphans whose parents died as volunteers under the ‘Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF)’ vigilantes and hunters.
The volunteers comprised members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, hunters and vigilantes.
Speaking at the ceremony on Tuesday in Maiduguri, Mr Zulum also announced the increase of the monthly allowance for the volunteers from N20,000 to N30,000 and a promise of an end-of-year bonus.
Mr Zulum said the involvement of the volunteers in the fight against insurgency had gone a long way in changing the narratives for good in the fight against insurgency because of the volunteers’ knowledge of the terrain.
He said that his administration would not abandon the families of those who paid the supreme price, adding that this was the first phase of the programme that would be sustained to ensure that all orphans were covered.
The governor also announced cash, food and clothing support for the orphans’ families, and lauded the military and other security organisations for their synergy that led to improved security in the state.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the committee for the scholarships, Mr Kaka-Shehu Lawan said it screened and approved 110 females and 190 males.
In his goodwill message, the Managing Director of Northeast Development Commission (NEDC), Mr Mohammed Alkali, lauded the gesture which he said was a worthy one for those who sacrificed their lives for others to live.
Mr Alkali, who was represented by the Acting Head of Administration of NEDC, Alhaji Grema Mustafa said the NEDC also had an Education Endowment Fund for victims in the region to benefit from.
In his remarks, the Theatre Commander Northeast, “Operation Hadin Kai’’, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa also lauded the development which he said would make others to realise that their sacrifices were not in vain.
Musa who lauded the effective role of the volunteers in facilitating the work of the military said so far more than 81,000 insurgents had surrendered.
“We are winning the war and the volunteers who we call `hybrid force’ are contributing effectively,’’ Musa said.
Speaking on behalf of the volunteers, the Commander of Civilian Joint Task Force, Malam Ba-Lawan Ja’afar, said they remained grateful for the concern showed for their welfare.
He said the volunteers would continue to support the military and other security agencies in the fight against insurgency.