Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state has awarded N0.2m to families of each of the 13 district heads killed by Boko Haram during the last 10 years of insurgency.
The Governor who addressed survivors at the flag-off of livelihood support to families of deceased district heads in the state at the Palace of the Shehu of Borno Friday said it was sad that the people had to lose their lives in the cause of service to humanity.
He regretted that many top people were targeted during that era and eliminated by the rampaging Boko Haram.
Zulum added that he will continue to work with traditional rulers to maintain the stability of the polity, especially during post insurgency period.
THIRTEEN DISTRICT HEADS KILLED
Commissioner of Local Government, Sugun Mai Mele, noted in his speech that 13 district heads were killed by Boko Haram while the others were either staff or dependants of the Borno Emirate council.
He stressed that traditional rulers were very vulnerable which is why such a large number were slaughtered by the rampaging insurgent Boko Haram.
” It’s high time we begin to tighten the security of our Royal fathers just as we do with our political leaders. This is because of their massive contribution to the stability of the polity.
“I believe that it is time for the Royal fathers also to be given a bigger say in the stabilization of the polity than what they are doing now.
“I believe we have used them too much as tools for the stability of the polity. We must change our position and stop using them as tools while their security and welfare of dependants is neglected.”
The commissioner called on the traditional rulers to ensure that they participate actively in the ongoing constitution review exercise which is aimed at giving them a head start post insurgency challenges.
ZULUM’S FEARLESS POSTURE FOR HIS PEOPLE
Also speaking, the executive director victims support fund VSF Professor Nana Tanko commended the Governor for his fearless approach in handling his people in spite of the insurgency.
She said that Zulum was the kind of leader needed at this time of insurgency challenges still bedevilling a state like Borno.
“I watched him several times when he was the commissioner of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement RRR. As long as he hears that his people in a particular place need help he will get there to help them.
“We used to be so worried for him in those days because he ignores the risk and will take us into his people’s towns and villages to work. For this reason, I have admired him so much as a front line leader” she revealed.
On their intervention on the people who have been badly affected by the war, Prof Tanko said that her organization has intervened in many areas including, education, women and girls affairs, and even in empowerment which is more like a lasting package for the people.
She assured me that “VSF is not here to take over the mandate of the political or traditional leaders but to make our little intervention where we think it is necessary. I bring you greetings from our chairman General Danjuna who sent his sympathy and empathy to the families of rulers killed by Boko Haram, for the loss of your loved ones.” Said Tanko.
Professor Tanko revealed that the financial quantification of the support to each family is about a million each to cushion their needs after the demise of their breadwinners.
“We are equally supporting 600 school kids with writing materials books and more while farmers are given seeds to return to their farms.
“I wish to use this opportunity to call on beneficiaries to use the support kits given them for income generation activities instead of selling them which is common with vulnerable people when they are given such packages.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Garbai took the pains to read out all the names of the deceased District heads and Emirate dependants who perished in the hands of the insurgents and hoped that the bloodletting would soon end.
Items donated by the VSF to the royalties (rulers Killed by Boko Haram) included generators, grinding machines, starter kits of technical equipment of different trades, bags of onions, beans, rice, and assorted grains.