Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says his administration has disbursed N7.5 million revolving loans to 52 widows of fallen heroes in the state.
Akeredolu announced this at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Cenotaph, Alagbaka, Akure, on Saturday.
The governor said the gesture was to assist the widows of the fallen heroes so that they would less dependent on the society for survival.
He commended the military for its efforts in the fight against terrorism, banditry and other criminal elements in the country.
“All over the world, especially in this part of the continent, every society has a unique culture of honouring their heroes.
“Indeed, we are here today to appreciate all our fallen heroes, both military and civilians as well, who have shed their blood for the unity and peace of this country.
“They, indeed, fought a good fight for sustainability of their fatherland. We are here to say well done to them and those who have been favoured to be alive till today.
“We, on our part, without mincing words, have come to praise them, both the departed and the living, for their patriotism. They have indeed sacrificed their lives for us to know peace.
“They deserve our praises, they deserve our honours, and they deserve our appreciations. It would amount to doing them the greatest injustice, just to praise them with words alone, but it becomes valuable, when it is backed up with our supports, financially and materially.
“Since we came on board in 2017, we have been touching the lives of a considerable number of the widows of the departed heroes, through our microcredit revolving loans.
“Our efforts in this direction would continue under this scheme and other packages as would be deemed fit to make these widows self-employed, self-reliant and independent through capacity training with start-up packages,” he said.
Akeredolu, therefore, called on the people to complement government’s efforts by donating generously towards the well-being of the legionnaires and also by employing the services of members who are still fit in productive enterprises.
The governor commended all security agencies including the Amotekun Corps, for their efforts at ensuring that there was peace in the state.
Mrs Taiwo Agoyi, one of the beneficiaries, who said her husband died in 1992 in the Ejigbo C30 plane crash, appreciated the governor for the gesture.
“I am into agriculture business such as goat rearing, fish and chicken production. Today I got a N600, 000 loan from government. Although, I was given N50, 000 in the first instance, I got more when I paid back the first loan
“On behalf of other widows, I appreciate Mr Governor for the gesture because it will go a long way to assist us in taking care of our families and we promise to use the money judiciously,” Agoyi said.
NAN reports that other present at the Laying of Wreaths included Brig. Gen. Yusuf Yahaya, Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade; Mr Oyeyemi Oyediran, Commissioner of Police; A.A. Zabairu, Commanding Officer, Nigerian Navy Forward Operation Base, Igbokoda; Mr David Oloyelogun, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly; Rtd. Col. Olubodun Apata, Chairman of Legion; and the Deji of Akure, among others.