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‘Why fallen heroes widows, dependants got N9.8m’

By Adekola Afolabi

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The Governor of Ondo state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has explained why he disbursed a total of N9.8 million non-collateral loans to widows and dependants of the fallen heroes and also wives of living heroes.
Governor Akeredolu had presented N9.8m cheques to the beneficiaries on Friday during the Parade and Laying of Wreaths ceremony marking the grand finale of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, held in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
No fewer than 80 beneficiaries including widows and qualified dependants of fallen heroes who are into micro, small and medium enterprises requiring support were also given non-collaterised loans to start off or boost their businesses.
Equally, wives of living heroes also smiled home with the kind gesture of Governor Akeredolu.
The Governor disclosed that the gesture was to empower the beneficiaries and improve their welfare so that they could live meaningful lives and meet their financial needs.
The non-collateral loans were disbursed to the beneficiaries through Ondo State Micro-Credit Agency at the colourful ceremony which was attended by top government functionaries and heads of security agencies in the state.
The Governor at the special event expressed gratitude to the men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces who have, in the course of duty, paid the supreme price, adding that his administration would continue to pay special attention to the welfare of their immediate families and dependants in the state.
“The purpose of this celebration is to continually recognise the selfless service and sacrifices of our heroes in the Armed Forces. These heroes laid down their lives to defend our dear country. We are eternally grateful to the men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces who have, in the course of duty paid the supreme price”, he stressed.
Governor Akeredolu also promised to continue to give necessary supports to all other security agencies in the state to further combat security challenges and ensure peace in the state.
He equally encouraged the Nigerian Armed Forces to collaborate with the State-based security outfit, the Amotekun Corps, to effectively fight all criminal activities across the nooks and crannies of the state.
“This is very crucial because members of the Amotekun Corps have local knowledge and are familiar with the Ondo State environment. They can offer useful and timely intelligence to the Army as they know the people’s culture and the terrain of the communities; they know the indigenes and can easily identify strangers within their vicinity. This can really help to enhance and make effective the collective efforts of all our security agencies”, the Governor emphasised.
The Commander 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Brigadier General ZL Abubakar thanked Governor Akeredolu for the non- collateral loans given to the widows and children of the fallen heroes as well as wives of the living heroes.
Some of the beneficiaries including Mrs Margaret Babatunde and Taiwo Opeyemi who could not hide their joy, appreciated Governor Akeredolu for his sustained efforts aimed at improving their lives.
They promised to make judicious use of the loans to improve their welfare.
Highlights of the ceremony were inspection of military guard by the Governor, releasing of pigeons as symbol of peace, and firing of guns.

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