Wednesday, May 11, 2011

POST ELECTION VIOLENCE: N5m for each slain corps member’s family

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, recounted the violent riots that broke out in the wake of the last presidential elections in some of the states of the North which claimed the lives of 10 National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and declared that there will be no hiding place for the killers of NYSC members. He also announced N5million for each slain corps member’s family.

This came just as northern governors condemned the post election violence and stressed their support for the appointment of a 22_ man panel of inquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of the violence, adding that the move will help curtail future occurrences as those involved would be brought to book.
President Jonathan spoke when he hosted family members of the slain corps members at the Presidential Villa where he formally condoled them on the loss of their loved ones and unveiled some of the goodies which the government has set aside to compensate them.

The first on the list of the goodies, according to President Jonathan, is the immediate disbursement of N5 million to each family of the 10 members of the NYSC killed in the post election violence that erupted in parts of the North.

But the families which include a widow and four children insisted that the best compensation for their slain loved ones was to ensure that all those who were involved in the heinous act were brought to face the full weight of the law.

Similarly, the President also approved automatic employment in the Federal Civil Service for one graduate from each of the immediate family of the slain NYSC members.

 Immortalisation of victims

Speaking when he received the families of the deceased at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan said the victims are to be immortalised.

He said: “In demonstration of our gratitude for the supreme sacrifice that they have paid in the service of Nigeria, I have decided that each of the ten families of these gallant young men and women will receive a token monetary compensation of N5 million.

“Tomorrow, I will formally inaugurate the Fact-finding Committee which will undertake a thorough investigation of the unfortunate incident. I want to assure you that those found culpable will be brought to justice.”

Responding, spokesperson of the bereaved families, Mr. Awuchewu Okpokiri observed that “communication in the last violence was nothing to write home about. Most of us families did not know about the death of our dear ones until about a week after.

“I don’t think that is very good because I feel that when this kind of thing happened and we approached the authorities we should have been told of what had happened. A lot of us did not know the death of these children until April 24 for something that happened on April 18. We also want to ask just like every other Nigerian is saying today that the NYSC scheme should be reviewed in all its ramifications.

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