Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko has flagged off the disbursement of over N 317.7 million assistance to 1,176 orphans in Sokoto State.
The funds were provided by the International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO) with beneficiaries drawn from the twenty-three local governments of the state.
Speaking at the ceremony, Senator Wamakko, who is also the Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, said that the programme started with the recruitment of the orphans in 2009.
Represented by the former Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, Senator Wamakko, who represents Sokoto North Senatorial District, added that “the Organisation is a reputable donor organisation that has executed many projects in our state.
“They include the building of Islamiya schools, construction of mosques and giving assistance to the needy in many ways.
“The organisation has come to implement the programme of giving scholarship to these orphans, which will serve as assistance to enable the orphans to pursue an education in their chosen career.
“This is for them to be educated, self-reliant and useful members of the society,” the senator said.
Senator Wamakko further called on the guardians of the benefiting orphans to have the fear of Allah and ensure the judicious use of the grants.
He admonished that “we shall remember that we will account for our deeds in the hereafter. I also like to call on all of us to dedicate whatever is within our means to assist orphans, widows and the less privileged in our society.”
The senator commended the IIRO, domiciled in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the invaluable gesture and for all other projects in Sokoto State.
He further appealed to the organisation not to relent, even as he requested for more projects and programmes to be brought to the state.
The representative of the Organization, Huzaifa Tahir, said that the assistance was for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
According to him, the remaining arrears from 2014 will be disbursed to the beneficiaries in no distant future.
Guest Speaker Sheikh Yahuza Shehu Tambuwal, Chief Imam of Uthman bin Affan Jumaat Mosque, Sokoto, admonished the Muslim Ummah to routinely assist orphans as enshrined in Islam.
All the speakers commended Senator Wamakko for bringing the organisation to Sokoto State when he was state governor, lauding the IIRO for the gesture.
The spokesman of the beneficiaries, Ahmad Umar and Safiya Babuga, commended Senator Wamakko and the IIRO for the gesture, promising to use the funds for their intended purpose.
The beneficiaries were given a minimum of N 200,000 and a maximum of over N 400,000.