By Segun Adeyemi
The Nigerian government has donated cash, food, medical supplies and other relief materials worth $2 million to victims of the mudslide in Sierra Leone.
Sarah Sanda, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement that the items donated include $1 million cash, as well as 315 metric tonnes of assorted food and other relief items and over 4,000 medical supplies all amounting to another $1m.
The donation was made yesterday in Freetown with a high-level Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
The delegation, which comprises the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja and Zainab Sharif from the Federal Ministry of Health, among others, was received at the State House by President Ernest Koroma.
Mr Onyeama expressed sadness “on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari and the people of Nigeria for the August 14 tragedy”.
He added: “The history of the two countries goes far back and the blood of both countries runs through the same veins.”
The minister added that “Nigeria would always stand by Sierra Leone”.
The minister explained that owing to the large volume of relief materials, there is the possibility of sending some by sea.
So far, four flights conveying about 60 metric tonnes of relief materials have been undertaken with another 16 flights planned.
Mr Koroma, while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari whom he referred to as a brother, noted that Buhari was “one of the first Heads of State to call and sympathise with us when the incident occurred”.
He added that Nigeria’s support to Sierra Leone was not new.
Mr Koroma noted support provided by Nigeria during the 11 year civil war, during the Ebola epidemic and after the mudslide and flood disaster.
He expressed delight over Buhari’s return to Nigeria after a successful medical treatment in the United Kingdom.