FG nets N58.7b to support terror victims
•Danjuma,Dangote, Adenuga, Elumelu, Tinubu, others donate billions
Victims of terror attacks in the country have a N57.790billion kitty for their rehabilitation.
The amount was amassed on Thursday night in Abuja by the Federal Government and key players in the private sector under the Terror Victims Support Fund.
It is about N10billion in excess of the N50billion targeted by the initiators of the fund.
An elated President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed ”immense appreciation of the kindness of all persons who responded enthusiastically” to his appeal for collective action by contributing generously to the fund.
N20billion of the donation came from the Federal Government while key players in the oil sector gave N17 billion.
Other high profile donor were:the banking sector- N15 billion; Mr. Tony Elumelu, N2.5 billion; General T.Y. Danjuma, N1.6billion; and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Jim Ovia, Wale Tinubu, Mike Adenuga,all of whom donated N1billion each.
From the 36 states and the FCT came N3.7billion; Arthur Eze and Mohammed Indimi, N800million each;and Mrs. Folorunsho Alakijia, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, Abdul Samad Rabiu, N500million each.
Presidedent Jonathan speaking at the occasion bemoaned the terror unleashed on Nigeria by Boko Haram for the umpteenth time ,but declared that the defeat of the sect was imminent.
He vowed to personally lead Nigerians to victory over the terrorists.
He told the audience comprising key players in the polity and the economy that he often wonders why Nigerians make themselves available to be used as suicide bombers.
“I never for once thought that I would, in my life time, hear of Nigerians strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up innocent people. We would have sworn that it is impossible! Ten years ago, no Nigerian would have imagined it. We thought it was something that could only happen in other countries,” he said.
“But here we are today witnessing this sordid phenomenon. Even women, who are not known for violence, are now involved.We will defeat terror and I will lead Nigerians to achieve this.”
He said the setting up of the fund should not be seen as an acceptance of terrorism as a way of life in the country.
”No! Never! Rather, this is just one of the short-term measures in our overall strategy against the enemies of peace and progress,” he said and spoke of government’s determination not to allow evil to overcome good in the country.
He also said he found it unbelievable to think that “some twisted minds” could kidnap innocent school girls and keep them in captivity for months.
Government,he added,was now caught between demonstrating military might and endangering their lives or undermining the sovereignty of Nigeria by succumbing to the blackmail of the terrorists on their own terms.
All options, he said, were still opened to bring the girls back home safely.
He said: “We will come out of this tougher and better nation. In these trying times, we have seen Muslims and Christians, Northerners and Southerners, men and women, and Nigerians from all walks of life rise up in unison to condemn the terrorists.
“By bombing mosques and churches, they have shown to us that they are enemies to all. By killing Muslims and Christians, they have demonstrated to every Nigerian that their evil agenda does not discriminate. Unintentionally, they are motivating millions of Nigerians to see them as common enemy whose only purpose is to steal, to kill and to destroy.”
Chairman of the Fund Committee and former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma said : “All too often, the victims of terror are soon forgotten. The majority are the soft targets the terrorists prefer but unable to fend for themselves. The funds being collected are not for combating terror or fighting terrorists organizations but for supporting victims of terrorists attacks.”
The President said yesterday that he was overwhelmed by the “expression of support, cooperation and solidarity by Nigerians and friends of Nigeria from all walks of life” at the launch
He said this showed that the public ”is genuinely concerned about the threat of terrorism to our common humanity and stands ready to support worthy causes and pro-people policies.”
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