AWKA — NO fewer than 2,500 ex-Biafran soldiers and 64 former players of
Rangers International Football Club of Enugu have so far received about
N62.5 million upkeep allowance from Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter
While the ex Biafran soldiers received N5,000 each,
former Rangers players, many of them who are down with ill health,
received amounts ranging from N200,000 to N1 million to enable them
obtain medical treatment either locally or abroad, in addition to
monthly stipends they received from the state government.
Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Chief
Joe Martins Uzodike, while handing the cheques to chairman of former
Rangers players, Mr. Luke Okpala, for onward distribution to his
colleagues on behalf of the governor, said Obi’s gesture was to further
recognize the heroic roles played by the footballers immediately after
the Nigerian civil war.
Uzodike said: “Governor Obi has
observed that these people cannot be left to suffer after their enormous
contributions in helping to reintegrate Igbos into Nigeria through
sports after the war.
“The ex Rangers players who receive the
monthly stipend are not limited to Anambra or Igbos alone, but all the
former players, whether they are from the old Bendel State, South West
or the North.
“In addition, the governor has secured an office
space for the former players at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu for
their meetings and social activities.”
For the ex Biafran
soldiers, the commissioner said the N5000 was to give them a sense of
belonging as many of them could no longer fend for themselves.
He recalled that only last month, the governor donated about N2 million
to the inmates of Oji River Leprosy Center in Enugu State and
socialized with them.