Elizabeth/Belema N60m, Wike’s Govt N30m
In less than two weeks, widows of security operatives have collected N90m from two organizations to help in small businesses and support their children. The year opened on January 1, 2019, with N60m doled to 300 widows around Nigeria from Elizabeth Jack-Rich Tein Foundation run by Elizabeth Jack-Rich Tein, wife of the founder of Belemaoil.
On January 15, the Rivers State government followed with another N30m for widows of fallen heroes. Elizabeth said its funds rleased at N200,000 each was not for Rivers Stat alone. Wike however said N30million Business Grant to the widows and wives of fallen heroes and war veterans of the Nigerian Legion was for Rivers State.
Speaking during a ceremony to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the courtyard of the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Governor Wike said that the grant would help the women expand their businesses and cater for their families.
The governor also announced a donation of N20million to the Rivers State Branch of the Nigerian Legion. He noted that the two donations would be effective after the legion made peace amongst their persons.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day was held at the Isaac Boro where Governor Wike inspected a guard of honour and released pigeons of peace.
The governor, leaders of the state and service commanders laid wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldier, while there was a 21 gun salute for the fallen heroes.
He said: “When you settle your differences, N30m business grant for the widows and wives of the fallen heroes and war veterans will be released. There will be a donation of N20m for the Legion. In all, we are donating N50m to the Legion”.
He noted that the State Government has redeemed its pledge of N100m to the Legion. “We have since redeemed our pledge to support the State Veterans Trust Fund with the sum of N100m to cater to the socio-economic needs of members of the State Chapter of the Nigerian Legion. We have also delivered the 32-seater coaster bus to ease the communication challenges legionnaires have been facing to commute their members to functions and events in the State and beyond”.
The governor said the state government was honouring the legacy of both the past and present members of the nation’s armed forces who have either served or were still serving for their contributions to the course of peace and national cohesion.
He said Nigeria deserves the total defeat of Boko Haram instead of the technical defeat being paraded by the Federal Government.
He said: “The Federal Government therefore needs to do something more pragmatic to boost the morale of our troupes, reverse the embarrassing setbacks and defeat Boko Haram. Nigerians demand a definitive, not the so-called ‘technical’ defeat of the terrorists. “Furthermore, we must also admit that being assailed by so many economic, social and political challenges the future of our nation is clearly entangled in a dark cloud of uncertainty”.
Representative of the Nigerian Legion, Borah Thompson thanked the Rivers State Governor for his commitment to the welfare of fallen heroes and war veterans.