Following reactions that trailed President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration that there would be no support for the victims of insurgency, the president has endorsed the proposition regarding a VICTIMS’ SUPPORT AGENCY, VSA, in the report submitted last week by the committee on Boko Haram, according to reports.
“Contrary to the misconception and misrepresentation that President Jonathan has declined any form of compensation for the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, the true position is that Mr. President went beyond the ordinary and is not wont to play to the gallery,” presidency sources told Vanguard.
One of the sources went on: “The issue the President was relating to when he made the statement on compensation and victims’ support was that you do not cheapen human life by placing monetary or any other form of ephemeral value on it.
“The committee had suggested the creation of a Victims’ Support Agency, which is expected to engage a creative means of catering to the needs of the victims of terror in such a way that life would be more meaningful and more productive to them”.
“President Jonathan wanted to make a distinction between monetary compensation – which was the expectation of many – and the need for rehabilitation of victims.
“The President believes that rehabilitating the victims using the instrumentality of the VSA would serve a longer lasting purpose than just denominating human lives or body parts that have been lost in naira and kobo terms.
“It was this differentiation that was misconstrued to mean that there would be no compensation. That is not President Jonathan’s position.
“There would be an institutionalized victims’ support programme to aid to assist victims of terror in the country”.
The source also said “the report is being studied by Mr. President and a white paper would soon be made public”.