From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta, Agaju Madugba, Katsina, Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan and Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called on the Federal Government and military authorities to prioritise the welfare of both serving and retired personnel, in view of the enormous sacrifices they render to sustain the peace and security of the country.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, made the call after laying a wreath at the National Arcade, to commemorate the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I must commend the federal government for its commitment to ensure that the armed forces are fully catered for, in terms of operational logistics and welfare packages. But, there is room for more, when you consider that these are men who have given their all and continue to give their all for the security, stability and prosperity of the country.
“While serving members of the armed forces must be made to feel that their efforts at protecting the territorial integrity of the country and assisting in the maintenance of law and order internally – often, at the risk of their very lives-is not in vain, the welfare of the immediate families of all our fallen heroes must be given due consideration,” Saraki stated.
In Abeokuta, Governor Ibikunle Amosun said government should do more to integrate and empower families of fallen soldiers in order to further appreciate the supreme price the heroes paid to ensure Nigeria was kept as one.
The governor, who observed that government should not wait for auspicious events such as the remembrance day before families of the fallen heroes can be taken care of. He said they should be more entrenched in government activities.
Amosun made this known on the sidelines of the celebration held at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The event was attended by top military and para-military officers, traditional rulers, top government functionaries and some former military governors of the state.
“It is not just when we come like this that we give them some money and they go. They should be integrated in all that we are doing. They are not lazy and that is why they served in the military. So clearly, we should embrace them. We should get them more entrenched in our activities – all of these empowerment and other several programmes that we are doing.
“I am sure that we have seen those gaps and we will continue to do our bit. Honestly, as an administration, we have been doing our bit but, when you look at it, it is not just when they come like this. We should involve them more in several programmes.
To Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the greatest form of godliness is service to humanity.
He tasked Nigerians to embrace the virtue and should never be oblivious of the fact that death is an inevitable end of every human being.
The programme was also attended by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Chukwunedum Abraham; Commander, 671 NAF Detachment, Ibadan, Air Commodore Olalekan Lawal; Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr. Abiodun Odude; Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, represented by Justice Ladiran Akintola, top government officials and others.
“We must always give honour to those that honour is due. It is due to our heroes, who have paid the ultimate price, so that we can remain alive, so that we can remain united. The lesson there is that in all we do, we will all die one day. What do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered? We are remembering the fallen heroes in the Nigerian Army today (yesterday) because they paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of humanity and in godliness.
“My message to our people is that we should all endeavour to serve. The greatest form of godliness is service to humanity. We must serve the humanity with all our might and with all that God has endowed us with, and in the end, we will all die,” said Ajimobi.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State also led led top military officers and other government officials to lay wreaths at the statue of the Unknown Soldier, as part of activities marking this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day
At the brief but solemn ceremony in Asaba, the state capital, the governor inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by the Nigerian army, Navy, Air Force and the Nigerian Legion.
A minute silence was observed while a 21-gun salute was taken in honour of the departed heroes of the country.
The highpoint of the event was the release of pigeons by governor Okowa, which signaled peace and the people’s determination to avoid any action that could lead to violence or war.