Insecurity: Kalu launches peace fund for south-east, raises N30 million

The deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has inaugurated a seven-member Peace Fund Committee to help raise financial support for the victims of insecurity in the south-east region.

A member of the Peace In South-East Project, Daniel Akwari, was named the chairman of the fund, while another PISE-P member, Mrs Mary Ikoku, was announced as the secretary.

Other members of the committee are former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu; the member representing Bogoro/Das/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State in the House of Representatives, Jaafaru Leko, as well the member representing Birnin Kebbi/Kalgo/Bunza Federal Constituency of Kebbi State, Ibrahim Mohammed.

Kalu, who represents Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State, on Sunday, visited the 144 Battalion Headquarters in Asa, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, to commiserate with the military high command over the killing of five soldiers by gunmen during last Thursday’s sit-at-home declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra across the South-East.

Kalu subsequently donated  N10m to support the families of the five slain soldiers.

“Barely 24 hours after the launching of the fund, over N30m has been contributed by well-meaning members of society from around the world,” a statement on Monday by Kalu’s Chief Press Secretary, Levinus Nwabughiogu, read.

Inaugurating the committee, Kalu charged them to be accountable and transparent in their operations, adding that the peace fund was in line with the rehabilitation objective of PISE-P, which he founded alongside members of the parliament from the South-East region.

“Remembering the widows and family members of our fallen heroes in the security forces will make them proud that their husbands did not labour in vain and motivate those still serving to give their all on their job.

“Your mandate also extends to communities that have been ravaged by insecurity to provide succour to them and restore their hope.

“You are the kick-starters of the project. Your committee will soon be expanded to accommodate other interests and critical stakeholders.

“You are starting from the South-East but your mandate will extend beyond the region in due course. Ensure you work with data and remain above board at all times. I do not doubt that with the calibre of people on the committee, you will meet our expectations,” he said.

Reacting to the killing of the soldiers in Aba, the committee chairman, Akwari, described the incident as unfortunate.

“First, let me start by saying that what happened in Aba is one of the most unfortunate incidents. I wonder what makes human beings take up arms to go and fight the military. You have no right whatsoever to take up arms against anyone, let alone against the military. It is unheard of. It’s not part of our culture.

“The deputy speaker’s visit calls for kudos. He has to abandon the activities in Abuja to come and interface with the bereaved families.

“That shows humanity. To sympathise with these women who lost their husbands, I commend him. He brought some of the members from the northern part of the country to follow him and sympathise with the bereaved families,” he said.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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