NAVY OFFERS CHILDREN OF CRASH VICTIMS SCHOLARSHIPS
The Nigerian Navy has promised to train up to the tertiary level, the children of its personnel who died in an helicopter crash on January, 26, to ease the burden of the widows they left behind.
Four persons including the pilot, Lt. Commander Ahmed Tijani, co-pilot Lt- Commander Mailafia Ibrahim, the Base Intelligence Officer, Ahmadu Yahaya and Seaman Illiya Uyuhili, the aircraft technician in the Augusta Reconnaissance, died in the crash.
Similarly, the Navy has also presented cash donations of between N2.5m and N1.5m to the families. It also presented two-bedroom flats located at the Nigerian Navy Post Service Housing Scheme (NNPSHS), Karshi to the families of the deceased officers and promised to assist the families whenever the need arises.
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ishaya Ibrahim, who made this known at a brief ceremony held at the Naval headquarters commiserated with the families and said the Navy has been recording an increasing number of casualties of its personnel who died in operations in the cause of fighting criminals on the waterways.
The CNS, who refused to disclose the actual number of his personnel so far lost in such operations, however, said the figure was not just alarming but saddening.
Vice Admiral Ibrahim, who got emotional, said: 'When we came on board about a year ago, we knew about the criminality, insecurity and sabotage which make our glorious water unsafe. I took notice of this and called for the records of the causalities and the number was quite sad to bear.
He said the incessant killings left the Navy with no choice than to cater for the educational needs of the children of deceased officers especially when they died in active service to their fatherland. He thanked the Federal Government, the National Assembly and the Rivers State Government which he said gave a million naira each to the families of the deceased.
'It became obvious that we have to do something for the families of our deceased personnel especially the children. For the deceased to rest in peace their children must have a future. We have remitted promptly the funds for the education of their children. We are sorry that we have to relieve the pains of the exit of your breadwinners who died in active service. They left a big vacuum and is difficult to fill because they were professional sailors and pilots and they can't be replaced in 10 years.'
He regretted that it took the Navy three months to officially hand over the benefits to the family thereby bringing back painful memories, but assured that it was to ensure that the families they left behind did not suffer.