Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, launched the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem and Appeal Fund with N10 million.
Buhari, in his remarks urged urged Nigerians to avoid issues that promote their differences.
This is even as he called on corporate organisations and business concerns to support the veterans’ through voluntary donations, employment and welfare support.
The President reiterated for the umpteenth time that Nigeria’s security was not negotiable.
Buhari said: “We must not forget those currently engaged in internal security operations, particularly the on-going war against insurgency in some parts of the country. It is indeed befitting to honour the memory of the gallant officers and men who paid the supreme sacrifice to keep the country united. For those who survived with varying degrees of incapacitation, they require our attention and care and we will continue to provide and cater for them.
“The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration was intentionally fixed for 15th of January, annually, to commemorate the end of our civil war. It reminds us of the need to guard jealously the unity of our country which was won at a great cost.
“This day calls to mind the negative impact of strife and conflicts and demands that as responsible citizens, we must at all times avoid actions that emphasise our differences. There is no doubt that the strength of Nigeria lies in her diversity. It behoves us therefore, to engage in activities and endeavours that feed our diversity as a source of strength not weakness.
“The nation is appreciative of the gallantry and sacrifices of Officers and Men of our Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other Internal Security Operations. This has led to the return of normalcy in affected parts of the nation. The Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.
“However, all hands must be on deck to check the attacks on soft targets, mostly innocent Nigerians. The peace and security of Nigeria is non-negotiable and the security agencies must continue to do their work diligently. As a government, we will continue to provide necessary logistical support to ensure that our Armed Forces operate with the best modern warfare equipment, while at the same time adequately addressing the issues of their welfare.
“Likewise, government will remain steadfast in developing our alliances with neighbours and friends in the international community for the total defeat of the insurgents.
The task of resettling and rehabilitating our citizens as well as the reconstruction of territories affected by the war will continue to be one of the priorities of this administration.”
President Buhari urged the service chiefs to pay all entitlements of the veterans to ensure their families do not suffer.
He said: “Service leaders must take urgent steps to settle the entitlements of these affected citizens as well as the welfare packages designed for their dependants. It is the responsibility of government to ensure that the families of our fallen heroes do not suffer the loss of their loved ones and at the same time be deprived of their due benefits.”