Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that most Nigerians are unhappy with the direction the country is headed under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, especially the unending killings and shedding of innocent blood across the country.
Wike warned that Nigerians must never forget to draw from the trials and experience of the Civil War, to avoid making mistakes that would push the country into another civil war.
He spoke yesterday, during the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony in Port Harcourt, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari should take steps to give every section of the country a sense of belonging to entrench peace.
The governor said: “Mr President must match his commitment not only with responsible actions, but, also stop the state sanctioned marginalization that is fueling most of the avoidable crisis in the polity, by giving every section of the country a sense of belonging and justice.
“For, not many Nigerians are happy with the current state of the nation, especially, the direction it is headed and the unending killings and shedding of innocent blood across the country.”
While paying tribute to the military personnel, who laid down their lives for the unity of the country, Governor Wike prayed for the peaceful repose of their souls.
“Beyond prayers, we must also comfort and extend genuine love to the members of the families they left behind, who in most cases, single-handedly bear the brunt and pains of losing loved ones while serving the country,” the governor said.
He lauded the President for efforts at tackling internal security challenges, particularly the ongoing war to free the North-East from the scourge of Boko Haram insurgency.
The governor assured that the state government would continue to support the ex-servicemen and serving military personnel.
He directed the immediate release of N100 million to the state Legion to support widows of deceased ex-servicemen to set up businesses.
An official of the Nigerian Legion, Rivers State, Colonel Wilberforce Josiah, commended Governor Wike for his commitment to the welfare of ex-servicemen and women in the state.
Highpoint of the occasion was the laying of wreath by Governor Wike, Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani and Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Enobong Udoh, led other military commanders to lay wreaths.
Governor Wike also released pigeons as a mark of peace for the event.
Prayers were said for the personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the ex-servicemen by Military Chaplains and Military Imam.
A 21-gun salute was shot in honour of deceased ex-servicemen. There was also a two-minute silence for the repose of the souls of the slain ex-servicemen.