Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has released the sum of N450 million as compensation for the victims of violence in the 2019 presidential election in Abonnema community of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.
The beneficiaries include those who lost their lives, sustained bullet wounds, lost valuable items and were arrested and detained by the Nigerian Army.
The victims were allegedly attacked by soldiers who were drafted to the area to maintain law and order during the last presidential election.
No fewer than 37 persons lost their lives during the 2019 presidential election in Abonnema, Daily Sun reports.
Governor Wike, when he visited the community after the election to commiserate with the people, had promised to assist with compensation for the violence and mayhem unleashed on Abonnema
The governor was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo, at the official confirmation of the names of the deceased and their next-of-kin, as well as other beneficiaries.
He said that after the incident, the governor inaugurated a high-powered committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Ipalibo Banigo, to collect data on the people who suffered losses during the presidential election.
Governor Wike enjoined the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Bob-Manuel, to ensure that the beneficiaries were his subjects.
In his speech, King Bob-Manuel described Wike as a reliable and compassionate leader with the political will to fulfil his promises.
The native ruler thanked the state governor for empathising with the Abonnema community and charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the money.
‘This money is not for enjoyment. This is time to sit down and think about how to make good use of the money to help your families. And you must appreciate the governor’s gesture,’ King Bob-Manuel said.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of Akuku-Toru LGA, Mr Rowland Sekibo, said the occasion invoked mixed-feeling, saying that it reminded the people of the unprecedented military attack on the community in 2019.
Mr Sekibo thanked Governor Wike for showing love to the community and commended the Amanyanabo for the role he played during the crisis.