At least 2,500 ex-Biafran soldiers and 64 former players of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu received about N62.5 million upkeep allowance from Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi.
The governor paid ex-Biafran soldiers N5,000 each, and former Rangers players, many of whom came down with illnesses, got amounts ranging from N200,000 to N1 million to enable them obtain medical treatment, in addition to monthly stipends from the state government.
While handing the cheques to chairman of former Rangers players, Mr. Luke Okpala, Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Chief Joe Martins Uzodike, said it was Governor Obi’s gesture to further recognise the heroic roles played by the footballers immediately after the Nigerian civil war.
“Governor Obi has observed that these people cannot be left to penury 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,” Uzodike said.
For the ex-Biafran soldiers, the commissioner said the N5,000 was to give them a sense of belonging as many of them could no longer fend for themselves.