By Mark A. Upaa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has extended an offer of automatic employment to the wives of two Bayelsa-born pilots who died in action combating the insurgency in the North-East.
Governor Dickson made the pronouncement while paying a condolence visit to Mrs. Diepreye Inokoba Jacob, whose husband, Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob, died in a helicopter crash at Damasak, on January 2, 2019. The young widow and her husband had been married for barely a month, before he met his untimely demise while serving his father-land.
Dickson also extended the offer of automatic employment to the wife of Flt. Lt. Owei, another Bayelsa-born pilot who died in 2016 after the Commander 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt, Air Commodore E Ebiowei, called his attention to it. The Gorvenor described the late pilots as heroes whose services to the nation were a source of pride to all Ijaw people.
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 Corps (NYSC); you will get your letter of employment as soon as you complete your compulsory service to the nation. The Governor continued, saying “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 as well.
“This is our modest way of encouraging our people in the service of this country. 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.”
In his reaction, the spokesman for the family, Mr. Oloice Kemenanabo, thanked the Governor for his visit at this very trying time for the family, saying the visit has brought succor to the families od the departed.
Recall that the five officers died on January 2, when the NAF helicopter, an Mi-35M Helicopter, which they were flying, crashed in combat while providing close air support to troops of 145 Battalion, Damasak in Borno State. The names of the victims were given as Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob – Pilot in Command; Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas – Co-Pilot; Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim – Flight Technician; Lance Corporal Adamu Nura – Gunner and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael – Gunner.