The One Billion Naira Insurgency Appeal Fund, sponsored by the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and its partner organization, Adamawa Peace Initiative (API), has received a sum of ₦50 million donation from Dangote Foundation.
This was contained in a statement issued by the executive director of communication and public relations, AUN, Daniel Okereke, in Yola, Adamawa state.
The one billion naira intervention Fundraising program was officially flagged off in Lagos on October 6, to assist persons displaced by Boko Haram in Nigeria’s north-eastern regions.
In order to support the AUN-API program, leading industrialist and philanthropist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote promised to assist the IDPs.
The President of AUN and Chair of API, Dr. Margee Ensign, said the ₦50 million donations by the Dangote foundation was conveyed to her via a letter on October 15.
Ensign said the letter noted that thirty-five million naira of the donation will be given in kind: rice, spaghetti, sugar, seasonings, salt, vegetable oil, and 5,000 blankets.
The Appeal Fund launch was held on October 6, at the same time as the launch of the 2015 Banking Sector Report and 20th anniversary of Afrinvest West Africa Limited.
Afrinvest promised to offer a pro bono advisory services to the Appeal Fund.
The AUN President who was the keynote speaker at the Afrinvest event, spoke on peace, development, reconstruction, and the way forward for northeast Nigeria.
She told her audience of the dire situation faced by those displaced by the Boko Haram terrorists.
Ensign said the AUN-API have helped thousands of vulnerable Nigerian youth obtain education, develop valuable life skills, and nurture the fortitude to resist recruitment by Boko Haram, which has slain innocent children, women, and men, causing more than 1.5 million survivors to flee their homes.
She added that the AUN-API has prominent Muslims, Christian leaders, traditional rulers, academic and business leaders, civil society leaders, NGOs, and other members of the Yola community as its members.
She stated that given adequate access to aid money, food, and other supplies, the AUN-API has the capacity and agility to address the challenges facing the IDP’s in real time.
Speaking with the UN High Commission for Refugees in July this year, Ensign said, “We know our community and we are in a unique position to bring diverse resources together to find and implement solutions to crises, prevent our youth from succumbing to the temptation to join extremist organizations, and bring stability to the region. Our collaborative model works, and we believe that governments, international NGOs, and other organizations working in regions of conflict should pre-identify local peace groups such as ours, and evaluate and use these local networks to implement assistance.”
The generous gift from Dangote Foundation will be of enormous help.