* Donates food, other items
By Etop Ekanem
Hauwa Maishara, a 35-year-old mother of four, is one of the internally displaced persons, IDPs, who moved to the IDPs camp in Dalori, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital when Boko Haram insurgents made her home very close to Potiskum almost uninhabitable.
She has lost a lot—physically, mentally and emotionally. To her, the pain she always felt was that of abandonment. She felt she was no longer part of humanity. Like thousands of others displaced from their homes by the rampaging insurgents, life promised nothing but pain.
But she got a huge relief penultimate week when the management and staff of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, led by its Director-General, Ladan Salihu, presented gifts and food items to IDPs in the Dalori Camp.
To Hauwa, the joy was not in the gifts but the fact that contrary to her thinking, the world has not forgotten her and those who were in her shoes.
The presentation: The donations were part of FRCN management’s determination to identify with those whose lives have been disrupted by the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State.
Gifts presented to the IDPs included food items, children clothing, baby wears, pampers for babies, sanitary pads for women, men’s clothing, soaps, baby cups, powdered milks, beverages, women wrappers and clothing, shoes, bags and clothes.
Vanguard Metro, VM, learnt that some of these gifts were personal items donated by members of staff of the Corporation. The Director-General was said to have appealed to them to donate personal items they were no longer using to the IDPs in order to identify with them.
“The director-general urged us to donate to this people. We donated our old goods and personal belongings. We were happy to do that. Besides, the management of the FRCN also donated those things like baby wears, foods, sanitary pads and lady’s personal effects to these people.
“I think the director-general just wanted these people to know that the rest of the country has not forgotten them. It is quite commendable, especially coming from a public institution like the FRCN,” a staff of the commission who did not want his name in prints, told VM.
Items handy, timely—Gov Shettima
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, while welcoming the FRCN team, said it was not easy taking care of the IDPs. He lauded the director-general for getting the staff and management of the FRCN to donate to the IDPS.
According to him, the gesture showed how magnanimous Mallam Salihu is and the largeness of his heart. The governor said the items brought were very handy and timely.
“That Ladan Salihu got the staff and management of FRCN to donate items for our IDPs in Borno State shows the magnanimity of his heart and his management style. The items you brought are handy. We are at the heart of harmattan season.
“We want you to show empathy at Dalori Camp. Most of them live in tents. We have about 18,000 IDPs there. In Maiduguri, we need about 940 bags of rice per meal. And we have 31 camps in Maiduguri. We have people in Bama and we have in Konduga. Right now, people in Damboa are congregating in Sabongari. Those in Burate are coming to Biu,” the governor explained.
Salihu lauds Gov Shettima: In his remarks, Salihu told the governor that Borno has become more or less a second home to him and he felt the pains the people of the state were going through as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency. He said he was aware that the governor shed tears at a time as a result of the pains people of the state are going through.
The ace broadcaster also commended the resoluteness of the governor who he said would not run away from Borno State no matter the activities of the insurgents.
“Radio Nigeria is with you in the fight against insurgency. Radio Nigeria will support your government and all initiatives of the Federal Government to fight this insurgency by teaming up with security forces and to help them win the war in public opinion and to ensure that this insurgency is brought to a conclusive and decisive end,” Salihu declared.
The FRCN team also paid a visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar, before returning to Abuja. At the Shehu’s palace, the director-general echoed same sentiment about how the FRCN was with the people of the state at the hour of need. Salihu also commended the monarch for his steadfastness and doggedness when his domain was under the threat of the insurgents and was on the verge of being run over. He said they were in Maiduguri not just to present gift items to the IDPs but also to show solidarity with the monarch.
Apart from the director-general, other members of the FRCN entourage included the Zonal Director, North-East, Mallam Abdullahi Yahaya Maikano; his Kaduna counterpart, Alhaji Abba Zayyan, and Nurudeen Ahmed who is the FRCN director of administration.
Others were director of finance and accounts, Pastor Michael Oluwole; director Lagos operations, Emeka Odigbo; and director, corporate development and communications, Osana Omame, special assistant Kaduna Zonal Director, Mallam Mainasara Usman, and personal assistant to the director-general, Abdullahi Gambo.