Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivets State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has released N450 million to compensate victims of election violence in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area during the 2019 general elections.
The governor, who met with the victims, deceased families and the council of chiefs at the Multi purpose hall in Abonema Monday said their bank accounts would be credited with the amount of money due them from Wednesday.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, said categories of beneficiaries included families of deceased persons, the wounded, those arrested and those who lost their property.
Danagogo recalled that during a church programme organised by the community after the election to mourn the deceased, the Governor, who was in attendance, setup a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, to identify victims for compensation.
He noted that following the report of the committee, the Governor released N450million Naira and insisted that the money should be paid to the accounts of the beneficiaries directly.
“We are here to inform you that the money is ready and by Wednesday you will begin to receive the alerts.
” This Money is not enough to compensate the people of Abonema especially those, who lost their lives.
“We have a list of 37 persons that lost their lives. Remember, money is not enough. But the Governor is doing this to let you know that he stands with you. If there is anybody I know that is reliable to stand with you in the face of any adversity, it is Governor Wike,” he said.
The Amayanabo of Abonema, King Disreal Bobmanuel, appreciated Wike for identifying with the people of his kingdom.
Describing the Goveenor as dependable, he recalled that the community cried to the him over the destruction and killings that occurred in the community during the election and he wa⁹sted no time to visit them.
He said, “The compensation is quite generous. I want to thank Wike for being a friend to the people of Akuku-Toru. I thank him for showing concern and helping us each time we go to him”.
He urged the beneficiaries to think of how to properly utilise the money and avoid engaging in frivolities and costly enjoyment.
Earlier, the Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Hon Rowland Sekibo, said they remembered the event of 2019 with mixed feelings.
He said, “I thank Governor Wike for the show of love. It is his leadership style that made us decide to support him”
A beneficiary, Mr Minamango Romeo who sustained bullet wounds thanked the governor for the benevolence.