Eighteen children displaced by the Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria have been given scholarships by the Borno State government.
The children, living in IDP camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states emerged winners of an essay competition organised by office of the Vice President.
The essay competition was coordinated under the Protective Education Advocacy Challenge (PEACH) initiative from the vice president’s office.
The Deputy Governor of Borno State, Usman Durkwa, who represented Governor Kashim Shettima at the award ceremony for finalists of the IDP students essay competition, announced the scholarship.
The deputy governor also gave N10,000 cash gift to each of the 18 winners.
The coordinator of the PEACH initiative, Maryam Marshal, said the 18 winners from the three states would also meet the vice president at a later date.
Ms. Marshal, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on IDPs, said the program was designed to re-orientate children affected by insurgency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
“It was designed to complement the Federal Government’s ongoing recovery efforts in the North-East Nigeria by using education as a tactical tool to return dignity and normalcy to the affected children”, she said..
She added that the PEACH initiative was also designed to engage the children in advocacy with a view to counter violent extremism using education.
“The programme is an integral component of counter- radicalization project of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) and disaster risk reduction of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) being coordinated by the Office of the Vice President”.
She said the competition was open to all school-aged children (8 -18 years old) and a total of 3,079 entries were received from the three states. Borno had 1,337 entries, closely followed by Adamawa with 1,230, while Yobe had a total of 512 entries.
“After the entries were collated, a total of 18 finalists, 6 from each states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe emerged as winners of the Essay Writing Competition after rigorous essay writing sessions and validation of submitted entries by markers and examiners”.
The winners from Adamawa State are Emmanuel Andrawus and Faith Mathew in the 8-11 years category; Prince Napatali and Abba Gana-Bundi in the 12-14 years, and Grace Markus and Ali Bulama in the 15- 18 years category.
Winners from Borno State are Aisha Musty and Bukar Abdulrahman in the 8-11 years category; Abubakar Musa and Zulai Mikaila in the 12-14 years category and Hauwa Bulus and Kaka Emmnauel in the 15-18 years category.
The six finalists from Yobe State are Modu Aisami and Adamu Ibrahim in the 8-11 years category; Fatima Jinbam and Mustapha Abdullahi in the 12- 14 years category and Sadiq Abubakar and Abubakar Baba Adam in the 15-18 years category
The event was attended by the representatives of Adamawa and Yobe state governments, the women affairs minister, the Director General of NEMA and other stakeholders in the education sector.