Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday, announced a donation of N150 million to the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa that are mostly affected by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
The funds are to be channeled towards the mitigation of the plight of victims of the insurgency.
He presented N50 million cheque to each of the states during the first meeting of the National Council of State (NCS) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that Lagos was moved by the suffering of victims of Boko Haram terrorist activities affecting not only states in the North East but also other parts of the country.
He said his state saw the insurgent activities as traumatic to the people and sympathised with the three northern states, noting that the donation was just to ameliorate the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the states.
The governor explained: “There is no gainsaying the fact that the emergence of Boko Haram and its devastating activities is a single challenge facing us as a nation. Though, the insurgence is basically limited to the north-eastern part of Nigeria, the effect is felt everywhere across the states of the federation.
“Recently, at the just concluded 21st National Economic Summit of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja, the Secretary to Government of the Federation presented a graphic and heart-rending report of the extent of damage and social trauma brought about by insurgency in the region.
“Lagos State views insurgency and natural disasters as hardships that leaves traumatic experiences. We commiserate with the three northern states and share the pains and discomfort of our brothers and sisters. We also commend our president for the renewed commitment of the Federal government to bringing insurgency to a logical conclusion by the year end. Our security agencies also deserve commendation for their gallantry, courage and resolve to ensure that the directive of Mr. President and indeed the wish of all Nigerians is achieved.
“Notwithstanding the hard times resulting from the current economic situation, we have resolved to show leadership and compassion to the plight of our brothers and sisters in North-Eastern Nigeria.
“It is therefore in demonstration of our commitment towards bringing succour and relief to thousands of the IDPs that we present this donation of N50 million each to the governments of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
“We use this opportunity to call on all Nigerians including corporate organisations and other public spirited individuals to reach out at this time and alleviate the pains of our compatriots in this part of Nigeria.”
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiary states, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State expressed gratitude for the empathy and support shown by the government and people of Lagos State under the leadership of Ambode “in this our hours of need,” promising that it would be used for the purpose for which it was given.
He said: “I believe that when the history of this event will be written, the name of Lagos will be mentioned in gold for identifying with us and showing empathy to our people in our hours of need.”
He also noted that every problem comes with its own opportunities for national regeneration and reintegration as he revealed a previous donation of rice and clothing items from the governor of Ebonyi State.
He added: “Sometimes, it is not even the quantum of the gifts that matter but the spirit behind them. Ebonyi is a poor state with 14 local governments and it is generous. Lagos is the big heart, the big brother caps it all with this donation.
“Rest assured that this fund will be channeled to the right causes. We are going to utilise these funds for the benefit of our IDPs and of course, our people that are returning to their homes and villages.
“It is gratifying to note that the governor of Abia State has also offered to come to Maiduguri.
“Indeed, we are living in interesting times in this country. Times like this call for national unity and cohesion. We have to form a single force to confront the security challenges that is confronting us. We will remain eternally indebted to you and the people of the state.”