Governor Kashim Shettima on Thursday paid condolence on the family of Borno State correspondent of Nigerian Pilot Newspaper, Mr Ben Aidokanya who died on Tuesday after a protracted illness. The Governor donated one million naira to Mrs Mary Aidokanya, widow of the deceased journalist with a condition that the fund is exclusively used to support the education of three surviving children of the journalist. The Governor also ordered the release of a Government ambulance to convey the journalist’s corpse to Effeye Ipole village of Ugboju district in Otukpo local government area of Benue State for funeral rites as decided by his family while he mobilized some friends of the deceased to attend the funeral.
Governor Shettima who was represented by his Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau visited the journalist’s widow in Maiduguri and was received by the President, Idoma Community Association in Borno State, Mr John Akogwu who was full of gratitude for Governor Shettima’s gesture, which he said would go a long way.
A letter of condolence from Governor Shettima, signed by his spokesman, Gusau, was presented to the bereaved family.
The letter, addressed to the journalist’s widow, reads, ”with very heavy heart and empathy, His Excellency, Kashim Shettima, the Executive Governor of Borno State extends his deepest condolence to you, your children and extended family over the demise of your good and dear husband, Mr Ben Aidokanya, who until his passing on the glory, was the Borno State correspondent of Nigerian Pilot Newspaper.
Governor Kashim Shettima received Mr Aidokanya’s death with rude shock and pain. The Governor had shown his compassion during Mr Aidokanya’s health challenge as you might have known and had prior information days back, that Mr Aidokanya had recovered from the ailment he suffered.
The Governor is touched by this painful death even though with total submission to the will of God who alone gives and takes lives at His appointed time.
“During his lifetime, Mr Aidokanya was a devoted and experienced journalist who related with his colleagues and Government officials based on mutual respect. He was very humble, friendly and peaceful. Mr Aidokanya carried out his journalism duties with politeness which made him to get along with anyone he came across very well. He will be remembered as one that lived peacefully with people and a courageous journalist that remained in Borno State in the darkest phase of the Boko Haram insurgency mainly to accurately inform, educate and enlighten Nigerians about the situation in Borno with a view to attracting empathy for our dear. Mr Aidokanya will also be remembered as a journalist who stood for the professional interest and general welfare of his colleagues through his consistent activism in the Correspondents Chapel, a union that caters for the overall interest of journalists representing various media organizations in Borno State.
“Governor Kashim Shettima has asked me to assure you that he shares your family’s moment of grief and forever be grateful to your late husband for his sacrifice.
The Governor has directed me to assure you and in particular, the bereaved children of Mr Aidokanya who are now orphans, that the Borno State Government will do whatever it can to support your family at this trying moment.
As a show of his compassion, Governor Kashim Shettima has asked me to hand over to you, a token sum of one million naira (N1m) which he wants you to exclusively utilize to support the education of Mr Aidokanya’s surviving children. While this amount can never make up for the demise of your beloved husband, the Governor feels that the children need to be supported on their education so that the big vacuum created by Mr Aidokanya’s death does not have any immediate impact on the future of his much cherished children.
Please accept the sympathy of His Excellency, the Governor of Borno State. May the good soul of Mr Aidokanya rest in eternal peace and may He give you the needed strength to bear this irreparable grief” the letter said.