Atiku Offers Scholarships To Families Of Soldiers Slain By Boko Haram
Mr Atiku Abubakar has proposed urgent actions to support the families of the late soldiers, proposing to personally fund education of select children from five families of departed soldiers up to university level.
“As such, I hereby declare an endowment to provide full financial scholarships to five children of our fallen heroes from the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele up to whatever level they are able and willing to reach at the American University of Nigeria, Yola,” he said. Mr Abubakar is the founder and owner of AUN.
The former vice-president also rallied Nigerians, especially his friends and associates, not to send him birthday gift when he clocks 72 on November 25.
“These men and women gave their best and we must reciprocate their sacrificial giving. Therefore, instead of celebrating my birthday this year, which is coming up in a few days, I choose to rather celebrate our fallen heroes.
“I further call on those who desire to celebrate my birthday, that instead of sending me gifts, they should donate their gifts and money to the widows and orphans of our fallen military heroes. I also call on all Nigerians, rich or poor to do what they can for the families of our fallen heroes. They gave us all. We owe it to them to show love and support to the families they left behind,” he said.
“Finally, I call on the Federal Government to think about setting up a benevolent fund for the support of widows and children of our fallen military heroes, run by an independent body, to which the public and corporate bodies can pay in funds. This is the least that we owe these gallant heroes,” Mr Abubakar said.
The insurgency, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima said has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced millionsas of early 2017, began in 2009, and it had defied efforts of three different president to bring it to an end.
The war on Boko Haram is expected to dominate debates about security in Nigeria ahead of the general elections next February. Messrs Abubakar and Buhari are the major presidential candidates in the field of over 60 contenders.
Worried about the deaths and rising cases of missing soldiers in Boko Haram attack, the chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, issued a warning to troops on the battlefront against fleeing from insurgents in August, threatening errant personnel with tough sanctions.
The Defence Headquarters announced last week it had taken new delivery of military equipment, boasting of a tough time ahead for insurgents.
The military has said it recorded tremendous gains in its counterinsurgency operations over the past three years, especially after managing to confine the insurgents to the fringes of Nigerian territories.
This was against the previous years when the deadly Boko Haram terrorists held vast Nigerian lands across its North-east stronghold, occasionally spilling into North-west and North-central geopolitical zones.
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