…Atiku extols the sacrifices of military personnel
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged Nigerians to always make sacrifice for peace and desist from actions that may divide the country along its fault lines.
The Governor said the citizenry had a responsibility to keep Nigeria on the path of sustainable prosperity and unity, saying such remained the best way to honour the patriotism and bravery of men of the Nigerian armed forces who died in the course of protecting the country.
Sanwo-Olu spoke on Wednesday after he laid the wreath in commemoration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day held at Remembrance Arcade at Tafawa Balewa Square. The event is held yearly to honour soldiers and officers who died in the course of carrying out their constitutional duty.
The Governor observed that labour of the fallen heroes would not be in vain if citizens remained resolute in defending the unity of Nigeria.
He said: “Today’s event is very significant, because it is being held in honour of those who laid down their lives to defend our country and keep it united. We will continue to celebrate their bravery and appreciate them for their efforts. As a nation, we must continue to ensure that all their efforts did not go unnoticed.
“The event is also an evidence for brave men and women that are currently serving in the armed forces, that government will certainly not forget their service to our fatherland. Therefore, to ensure that our fallen soldiers did not labour in vain, we must make sacrifice for peace and unity of this country.”
Sanwo-Olu reiterated the State’s commitment to working with security agencies to strengthen professionalism in the discharge of their constitutional duties. Lagos, the Governor pledged, will remain friendly and maintain non-discriminatory approach towards members of armed forces seconded to the State for duties.
He said the State Government had also been supportive of retired military personnel and spouses of fallen soldiers.
The Governor said no fewer than 2,000 members of Nigerian Legion, who are mainly ex-servicemen, had been engaged by Lagos Government to support security operations across the State. This, he said, underscored the Government’s readiness to continue to improve welfare of ex-service personnel and honour their bravery.
Sanwo-Olu also disclosed that his administration would be catering for the spouses of fallen soldiers through empowerment scheme of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
He said: “We do not want the wives of our fallen heroes to live in abject. Lagos Government will be supporting them through our empowerment programme being run by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation that deliberately caters for widows.
“We will correct their narratives and I can assure you that widows of our fallen heroes will be targeted in our empowerment scheme. We also can have a special social programme which will target them. We will extract information and reach out to them.
“We will make sure that in our next programme, we deliberately look for all of the widows of our fallen heroes and give them empowerment. It is for the Government to be able to give them empowerment, so that they can continue to fend for their families and themselves.”
The event was graced by commanders of all security formations in the State, and top functionaries of the Lagos State Government, including the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola and members of the Governor’s cabinet.
Atiku Extols the Sacrifices of Military Personnel
Meanwhile, the former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has paid tribute to members of Nigeria’s armed forces for what he calls their invaluable, incalculable and immeasurable sacrifices in the defence of the country’s territorial integrity.
In his goodwill message to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day on January 15, Atiku reminds of the contributions of these patriotic and amazing military personnel who have put their own lives on the line for the sake of others.
“While we sleep in our homes, these amazing patriots are in the field fighting to protect us, leaving the comfort of their own families for our sake.
“People who expose themselves to these daily risks to their own lives in order to protect others deserve our highest esteem, and I am sure no reward is enough for their patriotic services,” he said.
He added, “The scourges of terrorism and armed banditry have put a greater burden of responsibility on the shoulders of these men and women in military uniform.
“Despite these additional challenges of internal security, members of our armed forces are still carrying out their duties with vigour, zeal and commitment.
“The members of our armed forces should remain united at all times because millions of Nigerians perceive them as role models of unity and national integrity. The Boko Haram terrorists have tried to divide members of our armed forces, but they have stood united against these cold hearted killers.
“Nigerians should continue to pray for these great patriots who have sacrificed their own comforts for our sake because we cannot adequately pay them back for their professional and patriotic services to the country.”