The Governor òf Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has offered employment to the wives of two Bayelsa-born pilots who died in action while fighting Boko Haram insurgents.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relation, Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Mr Dickson as making the pronouncement when he visited one of the widows, Diepreye Inokoba Jacob.
Her husband, Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob, died in a helicopter crash at Damasak, on January 2, 2019.
Governor Dickson also extended the offer of employment to the wife of the second pilot, Flt Lt. Ebitimi Owei, who died in an earlier helicopter crash in October, 2015, when the Commander 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt, Air Commodore E Ebiowei, called his attention to it.
The governor said the employment offer was the state government’s modest way of encouraging and rallying support for the relatives left behind by indigenes of the state who got killed in action.
He described the late pilots as heroes whose services were a source of pride to the Ijaw nation.
He said, “We are very proud of the services and the sacrifices that our departed young hero made. We hereby announce automatic employment for the wife.
“We hear you are doing your National Youths Service, you will get your letter of employment as soon as you complete your compulsory service to the nation.
“The Base Commander has told us that another officer, flight Lt. Owei also died while fighting in the North East. I hereby announce immediate employment for his widow.
“This is our modest way of encouraging our people in the service of this nation. Our people, from the beginning, have stood for Nigeria. We have been doing that and we are not going to get tired to demand that Nigeria does what is right for us too.”
The governor had earlier visited the Chief òf Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on January 11, 2019 to condole with the NAF on the death of the Bayelsa-born pilot.
During the visit, he called on leaders and Nigerians to support the Armed Forces in the ongoing campaign against Boko Haram in the North East.
The governor was accompanied on the visit to the widow by a former Member, Armed Forces Ruling Council, AVM Larry Koinyan, (retd); former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe; former Deputy Inspector General òf Police, Mike Zuokumor, and others.
In his reaction, the spokesman for the family, Oloice Kemenanabo, described the late pilot as among the best in the country before the sad occurrence.
He thanked the governor for the visit which he said brought so much succour to the grieving family.