No fewer than 400 wives of Police, Directorate of State Security (DSS) and National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers who lost their lives in course of active service were each handed cash gift of N200, 000 and food items on New Year Day, January 1, 2019 by a non-governmental organization, Elizabeth Jack-Rich Aid Foundation.
The event which held at the Hugo Heights Events Center along Peter Odili Road in Port Harcourt attracted a huge audience as many of the beneficiaries turned up with their children, friends and relatives.
To underscore its import and significance, the event was also graced with the presence of the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Ahmed Zaki Mohammed; State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Mohammed Lawal Haruna and a representative of the State Director of DSS. Also in attendance was Ambassador Sukubo Sara Igbe, the President of the National Youths Council of Nigeria.
Speaking while presenting the gifts to the beneficiaries, President and founder of the Foundation, Dr. (Mrs.) Elizabeth Jack-Rich Tein (Jnr) said the gesture was driven by a passion to give back to society.
“As a young child, I didn't grow up with a bed of roses; I struggled my way through life. And now that God has blessed me, I can't just turn my back on the less privileged members of society.
“So my way of actually thanking God for His blessing is to touch the lives of people who are struggling in life. Every sphere of society is faced with challenges in this country - the widows, the aged, the physically challenged etc. It's for them we are doing this”, she said.
Mrs. Tein described the deceased spouses of the beneficiaries as gallant heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect their families and the rest of society, noting that no amount of gifts given to the widows would equate the loss of their loved ones.
She thanked indigenous oil and gas giants, Belema Oil Producing Ltd for collaborating with the Foundation, assuring that the programme would be carried out on the 1st of January of every year.
Also speaking, a representative of Belema Oil Producing Ltd and the company's External Affairs Manager, Mr. Samuel Abel-Jumbo said the partnership with the Foundation was important for carrying out its social corporate responsibilities.
“We considered it as part of our social performance as a company because it is an outreach programme remembering those who have labored for this country”.
Abel-Jumbo disclosed that Belema Oil Producing in 2018, empowered over 300 widows from its host communities beside the provision of scholarships, medical outreach and other empowerment schemes.
The External Affairs Manager said the objective of the partnership is to create wealth within its operational areas, saying that part of its programme for the month of January, 2019 is to empower 552 women across the 23 Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Some beneficiaries, who spoke to journalists at the end of the event, expressed to the Foundation and promised to make judicious use of the monies. They lamented neglect from government and some private companies where their spouses were drafted for work before their 'untimely' demise.
Highlight of the occasion was a dance competition by the widows with two winners receiving N10, 000 each in addition to 'cash spray' by Foundation President, Dr. (Mrs.) Elizabeth Jack-Rich Tein (Jnr). The audience also got a dose of cultural entertainment with a scintillating performance by the famous Chalant Productions of Port Harcourt.