By Yakubu Uba
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced distribution of foodstuff and non-food items to 144 widows of teachers killed by insurgents in Borno.
Presenting the materials in Maiduguri on Friday, the Borno Coordinator of NEDC, Hajiya Amina Maibe, said the gesture was part of the commission’s mandate to support vulnerable people in insurgency affected areas.
Maibe said the plight of the widows and orphans was brought to NEDC’s attention by the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Network of Civil Society Organisations in Borno (NECSOB).
The coordinator said 546 widows were listed to benefit from the gesture.
“We are giving 144 widows today while the remaining will get theirs on Thursday,” Maibe said.
She also announced plans to empower the widows with skills acquisition training, while the orphans would be supported with scholarships.
The state Chairman of NUT, Mr Jibrin Mohammed, thanked NEDC for the intervention and the role played by NECSOB in linking them with the commission, while urging other organisations to emulate NEDC in reaching out to the widows and orphans.
Two of the beneficiaries, Hauwa Inuwa and Yagana Babagana, who spoke at the occasion, lauded the gesture which they said was the second since they lost their husbands.
“My husband was a teacher at Government Day Secondary School in Mafoni ward when he was killed in 2012.
“We are grateful to all those involved in this gesture and will be greatly relieved if scholarship is provided for our children,” Inuwa said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that each widow was given a bag of rice, maize, sugar, carton of spaghetti, macaroni, mosquito net, mattress and a blanket. (NAN)