The Nigerian Army on Thursday donated 20,000 books to school children in Maiduguri Internally Displaced Persons Camp (IDPs) as part of efforts to complement the peace process in the state.
Brig.-Gen. Abdul Khalifa, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), Nigerian Army 7 Div. said that the gesture was also meant to encourage and give hope to the children.
Khalifa said at the books handing over ceremony in Maiduguri, that the donation was part of the Nigerian Army’s effort at promoting peace in the state as well as improving its relationship with the populace.
“Over 20,000 text and exercise books, covering various subjects both for primary and secondary schools will be presented to the Borno State Government.
“This noble idea was the outcome of the routine visit of the immediate past Acting Corps Commander Education to Maiduguri IDPs on Oct. 19, who revealed problems on the mode and method of teachings in some of the camps.
“It is my deep conviction that more of such gesture from the Division will follow in due course as the books donated here today, will no doubt impact on the quality of reading in the IDPs camp. It will also encourage a reading culture among the school children,” he said.
According to him, the division realised the need for collaboration in overcoming the challenges of the internally displaced persons in the camp.
He said that the Nigerian Army was not only engaging in the fight against terrorism, but also involved in building resilience, confidence and peace in across the country.
Khalifa, who said that the division would continue to rely on the support and cooperation of the residents, thanked the government for its support and cooperation with the Nigerian Army.
He restated the division’s commitment to sustaining its fight against Boko Haram terrorism in the North East.
Receiving the donated books, Alhaji Shettima Kullima, the Executive Chairman, Borno State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), commended the Nigerian Army for the donation.
Represented by Alhaji Abba-Jatou Lawal, the Permanent Secretary of SUBEB, Kullima warned the head teachers and headmasters at the IDPs camp against diversion and misuse of the the teaching materials.
“We are witnessing a very big occasion that is being handled by our military men who are here to save our lives and property, and at the same time giving our pupils the opportunity to acquire proper education.
“The State Government will forever be grateful to what the Nigerian Army have contributed to us. Because we are going to make sure that we make use of those books in accordance with the education norms.
“At the same time, I will urge our headmasters, headteachers; those who are going to collect these materials to make use of this materials and not to go and abuse it.
“They have assisted by providing us with these materials. So it is now our responsibility to see that we give proper education to these children,” he said.
Hajiya Amina Makinta, the Principal of Brigadier Maimalari Command School, who spoke on behalf of the teachers of displaced schools, said the donation came at the right time.
“Our relationship with the army has been a very cordial one since I assumed the mantle of leadership as the Principal of Brigadier Maimalari Day Secondary School.
“This presentation of books and learning materials has come at the right time because this state has been the vulnerable since the beginning of the insurgency.
“So many schools have been razed, over 300 teachers were killed and so many schools displaced. Right now Brigadier Maimalari is serving as one of the schools in Jajeri learning centre where five good schools are put together with over 5,000 students.
“Let me assure you that the teachers and headmasters of the displaced schools are going to make judicious use of these books. By Allah’s grace we will continue to train these children from strength to strength until the issue of insurgency comes to an end,” she said.