Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, who is also President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, has declared that the orphans of banditry and the Boko Haram insurgency are his children.
Abubakar made the declaration on Saturday, at the Eid-el-fitr lunch organised for the students of UK Jarma Academy in Sokoto State.
The school, which was initiated by a Sokoto-based philanthropist, Umarun Kwabo, has 171 orphans from Borno, Yobe and Sokoto states.
They include 117 orphans from Borno, 21 from Yobe and 33 from Sokoto, being sponsored by the philanthropist to acquire their education to tertiary institutions.
According to the Sultan, the children are no longer orphans because he is their father.
“We will continue to ensure that these children are living comfortably, we are their parents and they are our children,” he said.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Abubakar also called on scholars to sustain more enlightenment on the need for the society to support orphans.
“The gesture, if properly sustained by our society, will drastically reduce the ugly situation of rampant begging across our domain,” he said.
The Sultan appreciated the sponsor of the children, and called on the Sokoto State Government and others to continue to support the initiative.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who was represented by his Deputy, Munir Dan’iya, reassured of his administration’s commitment in supporting orphans.
He thanked Kwabo for sustaining the initiative and appealed to other personalities to emulate the gesture.
Earlier, the school proprietor said the gesture was part of his commitment to encourage the society to support orphans across the country.
“This initiative is a message to all Nigerians. I am sure no matter how little, one can assist to reduce the burden of a single orphan within the society,” Mr Kwabo said.
Also, Mohammed Maidoki, Chairman, UK Jarma Management Board, thanked the sponsor for taking up the children’s welfare.
Maidoki said that they had since engaged in various skill acquisition programmes which included tailoring, phone repairs and knitting.
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