By Godwin Anene
In line with his earlier promise, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has handed N280 million (two hundred and eighty million) cheques to the families of 14 murdered security operatives reportedly killed by gunmen in the state.
The 14 security personnel comprising 11 policemen, two Nigerian Airforce personnel and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NCDC) murdered by gunmen during a recent attack on security formations in parts of Rivers State.
Governor Wike had promised to support the families of the slain officers with N20 million to cater for the education and welfare of the children of the deceased.
He made the pledge during a condolence visit to the State Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka and officers of the State Police Command last week Monday.
The cheques were presented to 11 widows of Police officers at the State Police Command, two bereaved family members of the Nigerian Airforce at the Nigerian Airforce Base and one widow of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NCDC) official in Port Harcourt, respectively on Monday.
The Governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Wenike Danagogo said the gesture is in fulfillment of the Governor’s earlier promise to alleviate the plight of the widows and their children.
“His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike CON deeply sympathize with you. We know there is nothing else he can do to bring your husbands, fathers and brothers back to you but he has asked me to tell you that in situations like this, we look unto God and pray that God will continue to support you and show his grace to you.
“He wants you to know that your husbands and fathers did not die in vain but died for their fatherland and God will certainly take care of all that concerns them. Men may not be able to do much to assuage your feelings but be rest assured that God Almighty will take care you.
“The Governor has asked us to bring this token of N20 million each to the widows and children of the deceased security personnel.
“Our role as a Government is to always identify with people who make sacrifices for the good of humanity, the good of Nigeria and the State. No doubt your husbands are some of those who made such sacrifices along with several officers who are doing same.
The Governor further assured the State security personnel of his continuous commitment and support as they discharge their duties.
“I encourage all the officers who are toiling day and night to ensure the security of the State that Rivers State Government will always stand with you and identify with you no matter the situation. The Governor appreciates your sacrifices and will always support you to eradicate this recent trend of criminality and terrorism ravaging different parts of the country.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Friday Eboka thanked the Governor and assured the continuous service of his men to the security of the State.
“We are happy that the Governor has extended his hand of friendship to us. We have been sad all these while, but today, the Governor in his magnanimity has come to wipe out our tears. We appreciate the Governor and pray that God will continue to help him the way he is helping us. We know that money cannot bring back life but invest the money properly so your children will not drop out of school and use the money wisely.
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In the same vein, the Commander 115 Special Operations Group, Nigeria Airforce, Port Harcourt, Group Captain G. E. Laha, thanked the Governor for the kind gesture and promised to continue in the good service of security of the state.
On behalf of the recipients, the widow of Inspector Paulinus Bassey, Mrs Grace Bassey expressed gratitude to the Governor for the kind gesture of empowering the widows and family members of the deceased.