Pupils of Children International School, Lekki in Lagos State, at an emotional event on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State, donated sanitary kits worth about N2.5 million to soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents in North-east Nigeria.
The pupils raised the money for the items by forfeiting their lunch in appreciation of the troops’ sacrifices for the country.
The contribution was coordinated by a Lagos based non-governmental organisation known as Volt Club, which conveyed the items to Maiduguri on behalf of the pupils.
Leader of the delegation and Volt Club’s Head of Assesment, Bhila Khipani, said the donations were made by the pupils, following the club’s advocacy campaign calling young Nigerians to show supports for troops in the battle field.
“Volt Club is a voluntary organisation within Lagos with interest in charity, especially on issues concerning children and their educational needs,” said Khipani.
“This is just a token of appreciation from school children all the way from Lekki Phase 1 Lagos. It is a kind gesture coming from school children in times of celebrations like this.
“But the key message in this gesture is in urging all Nigerians to take this torch onward and do something to make a soldier smile.
“It may not be in this form; other Nigerians can do even more. Let everyone go out and think of what they can do to make a soldier happy by telling them they are all appreciated for the sacrifices they are making for the country,” he said.
Receiving the gift items on behalf of the soldiers, the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division Nigeria Army, Victor Ezugwu, said the gesture by the children brought him to experience his most emotional moment as an officer.
“On behalf of soldiers of the 7 Division Nigeria army, I want to thank you for this show of solidarity, brotherhood and camaraderie for our soldiers out there fighting Boko Haram,” Mr. Ezugwu, a brigadier-general, said.
“We have fought Boko Haram from the land areas and territories they had hitherto command as their caliphate; we have taken the battle right to them in Sambisa forest where we are now and we are trying to clear them out once and for all so that our peace can be total and whole.
“This is a very emotional moment for all of us that have been fighting Boko Haram; and of course the most emotional moment of my stay as a GOC.
“Children of ages 3, 4 and 5 years being able to remember that there are soldiers and commanding officers in the North-east fighting Boko Haram and laying down their lives, is quite commendable. Of course family members have lost their loved ones all because we want to keep peace in our father land”.
He said he was touched emotionally because the children’s kind donation came at a time some other Nigerians were allegedly trying to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.
“Some people are trying to paint us black and trying not to see anything good in our efforts to safeguards our nation. But we take it that God almighty will bless these children because they are very patriotic in their attitudes and behaviour. God will bless them and bless their parents”.
Officials of the Volt Club said they had presented 1000 sachet packs containing a unit of tissue paper, tooth paste, hand towel, shaving sticks, toothbrush, bars of soap, sanitary pads, chewing gum and recharge cards ranging from N1000, N500 and N200.
Each of the packs was worth N2500.