By Michael Olugbode
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has hailed the resistant group, Civilian JTF, as the greatest miracle that happened in the state in the last 10 years.
The governor stated this yesterday while establishing a scholarship scheme which would see the children of the fallen members of the group sponsored through their education.
Zulum, who also flagged off a welfare package of N50,000 each for widows of the volunteers killed in the battle against Boko Haram insurgents that have laid siege on to the state in the last 11 years, launched the distribution of N180 million and 27,000 bags and cartons of food variety to 9,000 volunteers.
He revealed the plans of the state government while addressing a gathering of about 9,000 volunteers who have been fighting alongside the Nigerian Armed Forces to contain the Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
The governor, while addressing the volunteers who were gathered on the campus of Borno State University, Maiduguri, said: “For me, the greatest miracle that has emanated from the state within the last 10 years is the emergence of the Civilian JTF in 2013, and the coming of more volunteers from hunters and vigilantes groups, all of whom have devoted their lives to fearlessly and patriotically fight side by side with soldiers and other armed forces in the battle for Borno State liberation from Boko Haram.
“Of all the components of all those who make up the Borno society today, for me, there is no group that is as important and as critical to us as the brave men and women gathered before us today, who have given up their basic and entitled needs for safety and comfort so that millions of fellow citizens can be safe and comfortable.
“Our indomitable men and women of the civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes, the people of Borno State are mightily and gratefully proud of you. Nothing can compensate for the sacrifices you are making; only Allah can adequately compensate you. This is particularly so as many of our fellow compatriots have died in the battle fields.
“In the last seven years, we have recorded instances in which volunteers in the civilian JTF have intercepted suicide attackers, and in the process lost their lives. We have recorded more instances of many killed in major battles after they also succeeded in our shared victories over Boko Haram at different encounters. I will not mention names, but there are records of warriors in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes from southern to northern and Central Borno, who fought so hard and gave their lives fighting for the state.”
Zulum added: “As governor of Borno State, I assure you, that Insha Allah, all of those who died in the Civilian JTF, groups of hunters and vigilantes, did not die in vain. They have all died for the causes of saving humanity, and we pray that Allah grants them His eternal mercy and admit them into Aljanna Firdaus.
“While we continue to pray for them, as a people, we all have obligations to support the orphans and widows left behind by these fallen heroes of Borno State.”