Nigerians Thursday night at the Presidential Villa Abuja donated generously to the Victims Support Fund a fund created by President Goodluck Jonathan to alleviate the sufferings of victims of Boko Haram onslaught in the country.
Over N80 billion was raised last night at the fund-raising dinner where President Goodluck Jonathan personally called out good hearted, Nigerians, companies and groups to do so. The President had recently inaugurated Victims Support Funds Committee chaired by Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd).
Prior to the fund raising, President Jonathan, in a moving speech that appealed to the audience, vehemently condemned the evil acts of the terrorists.
The president, who personally served as the master of ceremony at the occasion, led the donors by donating N10 billion on behalf of the federal government. He subsequently called on the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Maduele, to introduce the various top operators of the oil and gas sector to make their donations.
In the same vein, he also called on the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Govenor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to introduce the bank executives, so they could also make their donations.
Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia, had seemingly set the standard when he announced that only those donating a billion naira and above should come up to the podium and have the benefit of having a presidential handshake.
He donated N1 billion, ditto the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and others.
President Jonathan assured Nigerians that the war against terror would be won, adding that good will always prevail over evil.
The president called on well-meaning Nigerians to contribute their widow’s mite in his administration’s efforts at providing succour to victim of Boko Haram attacks, noting that it was a great privilege to give to those in distress, as the givers could have as well been the victims.
He said his administration would not rest on its oars until the terrorists are completely routed and wiped out of the country.
Jonathan had recently said the fund raising was part of government’s efforts at mobilising funds so that the widows, orphans, those whose business premises had been vandalised, worship places, such as mosques and churches that have been destroyed would be rebuilt.
“For those who have been victims, they need comfort. They need succour. We cannot replace the life of a child that has been snuffed out. We cannot replace the lives of men and women who have been killed. We cannot return broken limbs to their original state. We cannot take away the trauma that people have been put through.
“Their memories are scarred, some for the rest of their lives, over what they knew nothing about. The best we can do in this circumstance is to offer them a shoulder to lean on and to stretch out our hands of fellowship to them and tell them we feel their pains and share in their sorrow,” the president had said.
According to him, the committee was part of on-going efforts to provide a comprehensive solution to the menace, adding that his government was determined to resolve the crisis.
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