Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has released N450m to victims of the 2019 bloody general elections in Ijaw communities of Abonema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.
The governor, who met with the victims, deceased families and the council of chiefs at their town hall in Abonema on Monday said their bank account numbers would be credited with the amount of money due them from Wednesday.
There were indications that the families of 37 persons, who paid the supreme price, were entitled to N9m compensation each as Mrs. Florence Gold, was told by the governor that the sum would be sent to her account for the killing of her twin son, Samuel.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Tammy Danagogo, named categories of beneficiaries as families of deceased persons, the wounded; those, who lost their properties including phones among others.
He recalled that during a church programme organised by the community after the election to mourn the deceased, the governor, who was in attendance, said though he had no power to resurrect the dead, he would compensate all the victims.
Danagogo said in keeping his promise, Wike constituted a committee led by the deputy governor with a mandate to identify and list all victims of the violence, which he said was orchestrated by the army.
He said following the report of the committee, the governor released N450million and insisted that the money should be paid to the accounts of the beneficiaries.
“We came to inform the community that the money is ready and by Wednesday you will begin to receive the alerts. 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. So, 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.
“This is why I have always said even before I became the SSG that we should support him. The people of Abonema and Akuku-Toru are witnesses to the fact that our governor is reliable”, he said.
Danagogo said the governor would soon inaugurate a significant project, the Abonema Ring Road Phase two, which was abandoned by contractors since 2006.
In his remarks, the Amayanabo of Abonema, His Royal Majesty, King Disreal Bobmanuel, commended Wike for identifying with the people of the area.
Describing the governor as a dependable governor, the traditional ruler recalled how Wike fulfilled various requests presented to him by the community since he came into office.
He said when the community cried to the governor over the destruction and killings that occurred in the community, during the election, Wike wasted no time to set up a committee that worked out the compensations.
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 concerns and helping us each time we go to him”.
The monarch advised the beneficiaries to think of how to properly utilise the money and to avoid engaging in frivolities and and costly enjoyment.
Earlier, the Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rowland Sekibo, said they remembered the event of 2019 with mixed feelings.
But he said: “I thank Wike for the show of love. It is his leadership style that made us decide to support him”.