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By JIDE AJANI
Owing to his compassionate disposition and the need not to be misunderstood, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has endorsed the proposition regarding a VICTIMS’ SUPPORT AGENCY, VSA, in the report submitted last week by the committee on Boko Haram, Sunday Vanguard can reveal authoritatively.
This is coming on the heels of what sources described as the perceived misunderstanding of Mr. President’s position on the worth of human life.
In fact, the President reportedly hinted at this possibility while receiving the report from members of the committee.
Aso Rock Presidential Villa sources confided in Sunday Vanguard at the weekend that “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”.
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”.
Sunday Vanguard was made to understand that following the controversy that trailed media reports that President Jonathan declared that there would be no compensation for terror victims, the President “could not believe the reports”.
Indeed, Aso Rock insiders explained that “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”.