by Kolapo Olapoju
At the fund raising dinner for the ‘Victims Support Funds’, held last night, 31 July, at the Banquet Hall of the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, an estimated N60 billion was raised, according to state radio service, Voice of Nigeria.
The victims support funds’ was recently inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan to cater for the victims of Nigeria’s terror attacks, and the committee for the fund is chaired by Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd).
Several notable Nigerians supported the cause by donating large amounts, some of which are Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote who donated N1billion while Zenith bank Chairman, Jim Ovia pledged the same amount.
Leading by example, head of the fund, TY Danjuma pledged $10miilion (N1.7billion), while saying that the money donated should not be used to fight Boko Haram, but for the specific purpose of aiding the victims of terror. He said, “this fund is not meant to fight terroists but to support victims of terror”.
Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu made the biggest statement of intent on the night by pledging to donate a sum of N2.5billion.
Meanwhile, President Jonathan revealed that a doctor from Aba sent him a bank draft of the token sum of N5,000. He said, “Dr. Uchenna Kalu a citizen in Aba sent a bank draft of N5,000 as his contribution to the Victim Support Fund. His action touched me very much.”
The president had earlier enjoined Nigerians to support the fund with donations, saying, “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 said.