The compassionate governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has reached out to the survivors of the 12 men who were slain by members of Boko Haram at Mubi, Taraba State in Januray 2014 and awarded scholarships to their children.
In a most horrifying killing spree, the members of the Boko Haram jihadists had slain 12 men who all hailed from Adazi Nnukwu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State. The casualties – Amaechi Onwudike, Obinna Akuwke, Osita Aforka, Ukamaka Aforka, Uchenna Okpala, Ugochukwu Ezenwekwe, John Obiakonwa, Patrick Agbachi, Job Mgbemena, Bede Anagbado and Sunday Okoye were gunned down when they gathered in the house of one Mr. Simeon Asoh, a fellow towns man who has been killed the previous day by the same sect members, to deliberate on his burial plans.
The brutal murder of the victims plunged their families into the wilderness of want and deprivation, threatening the education of their children. But in a clear demonstration of his increasingly familiar humane side, Governor Obiano has handed scholarships to the children to ensure that their education and proper development is not truncated by the sudden death of their fathers.
The children of the Boko Haram victims were among the 82 students and pupils who received scholarship funds and incentives totalling about 11 million naira from the governor as a humanitarian gesture.
Other beneficiaries include the highly promising students of Dennis Memorial Grammar School Onitsha who represented Nigeria at the World Schools Debating Championship in Singapore this year as well as some students living with disability.
Other categories beneficiaries include the children of the late former commissioner for science and technology, Mr. Chike Okoli and the children of other citizens of the state who died in active service.
Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Governor Obiano explained that the gesture to the children of Boko Haram victims was in keeping with his resolve to always remain sensitive to the pulse of Ndi Anambra and to ensure that no Anambra child is denied education on the basis of their inability to pay the school fees.
“I am very proud that for the past three years, Anambra has remained tops in both WAEC and NECO exams. We are continuing to build solid foundations for such progress to continue. It is also an opportunity to sympathize with Ndi Anambra that were forced to come down here because of the challenges we are having in the North-East geopolitical zone of the country and to show them that we share in their losses. Before now, we have been distributing food items to them and this largesse is to tell them that we are not going to leave them,” said the Governor.
Earlier the Commissioner for Education, Professor Kate Omenugha said the State Education Sector was able to register numerous landmarks because the Governor has remained committed to the academic development of the students as well as the welfare of the teachers.
Said she, “Since this administration came into office, it has distributed over 30 million naira in scholarships. Some of these scholarships were inherited from the past administration and in the light of continuity, it upheld them while instituting others through the Ministry of Education. This edition is unique in that it encompasses special students in keeping with the present administration’s commitment to ensure that the learning needs of all are met irrespective of status”.
Some of the beneficiaries including Master Chiagozie Udorji, an SS1 student of Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha who was part of Nigeria’s Contingent to the 2015 World School’s Debate Championship in Singapore and Kelvin Anozie, a student of ANSU who is on scholarship for emerging the overall best Igbo student in the 2008 WAEC Exam.
Also speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Kelvin Anozie said the investment made in the education sector was the driving factor behind their successes and assured that they would continue to utilize the scholarship to make the state proud.
In an emotion-laden voice, one of the widows from Adazi-Nnukwu who received incentives on behalf of her five children, Mrs Agatha Aghachi noted that since she lost her husband, life has been hard for her and her children and assured that the funds would go a long way in supporting her children’s education, describing Governor Obiano as god-sent.