Gov Udom Emmanuel has demanded on the Nigerian civil groups to end raw and rhetoric political impulses of instigating wars in the country. Emmanuel made the appeal during the wreath laying ceremony to mark the end of the 2020 Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebration which took place at the cenotaph along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo, Wednesday.
The governor said that wars emanated out of inflamed passions and competing personal or group interest beyond the common good usually transfer burdens to families living behind several children and widows seeking for attention, explaining that it was expedient on Nigerians to avert wars by hearkening to clarion call for unity and peace among our political class in the country.
He appealed to Nigerians to mark the solemn celebration of the Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebration by sparing thoughts to the widows of soldiers, their children, dependants and thousands of others who had given their lives at previous moments of wars, maintaining that the sacrifices were meant to offer peace and tranquility in the country.
Emmanuel stressed that the political class, especially in Akwa Ibom, has the obligation of showing the world that raw political impulses can never negate the deeper elements of bonds of brotherhood and shared destiny, emphasising that the soldiers and other members of the security agencies gave their lives for the sake of the corporate existence of Nigeria.
The governor advised Nigerians to close their ears from hearing drumbeats of wars by embracing deep sense of patriotism and provide added nerves of love to fellow Nigerians irrespective of tongues, creed or geographical locations, maintaining, "That has been my message to my brothers and sisters since March 9, 2019 when our good people returned me to office for a second time as their governor and team-leader.
Emmanuel called on individuals and corporate organizations to institute scholarships for the educational pursuit of the siblings of fallen armed forces personnel in the country, remarking that the gallant armed forces personnel deserve accolades and gratitude not only through flowery speeches but through practical ways of ensuring that the sacrifices made were not in vain.
The governor said that the care of the dependants of fallen heroes and heroines in respective peace keeping assignments has to be the joint responsibilities of the government, private and corporate institutions, explaining that the initiatives of collaboration was the obtainable situation in the Western World.
Emmanuel said that the taking up of responsibilities of educating dependants of the fallen heroes and heroines would demonstrate the extent of appreciation on the national roles of the gallant men and officers of the Armed Forces in the country, saying that the task of educating the surviving children of fallen Armed Forces personnel remain the biggest burden placed on the shoulders of the widows.
He remarked that his administration has already embarked on practical steps of improving the welfare of security agencies by the reconstruction of living quarters at the Army Barracks, Ibagwa, stressing that the gesture to 2nd Brigade of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies would continue to remain deep and enduring in the state.
The state chief executive officer indicated that the profound role of the armed forces and other security agencies to ensure safe, secure and peaceful situations has helped in the rapid industrialization policy of the state, saying that the gathering at different locations to commemorate the Armed Forces Day was to celebrate and salute the courage of gallant soldiers in the country.
He expressed delight at the timely response of security agencies to the protection of Nigerians devoid of sentiments, maintaining that some of the armed forces personnel go as far as paying the supreme price of laying down their lives in allegiance to the preservation of the territorial integrity of the country.
The chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Col Joseph Esu, who led the seahead of retired and serving armed forces top officers in Akwa Ibom appreciated the state government for their contributions to the legionnaire.
The event witnessed by the state deputy governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, featured the laying of wreaths to honour the unknown gallant security agents and the release of pigeons to symbolize calls for peace as well as gun salutes.
... Lagos Govt Promises Empowerment To Legionnaires' Widows
The Lagos governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to come up with a programme aimed at empowering widows of the members of the Armed Forces who laid down their lives to defend and protect their fatherland .
Sanwo-Olu said this during the parade and laying of wreath to commemorate 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the Remembrance Arcade, Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, organised by the state government, that there was the need to empower the widows of the fallen heroes for them to be able to fend for their families and themselves.
He said that the government would discuss with the wives of the officers of the Armed Forces to know possible areas that the widows could be empowered.
"We will look for all the widows of our fallen heroes in the next programme and empower them, because that is really what they require," the governor said.
He said that the state government would continue to remember the fallen heroes and not let their efforts go unappreciated.
Sanwo-Olu urged the serving officers and men of the Armed Forces to always do their best to ensure safety of lives and property in the country.
"As you can see, it is a very solemn and humble ceremony. It is something that we need to continue to do.
"We need to remember and thank all our fallen heroes that had done well for the country at one point or the other.
"It is very significant and something we will continue to celebrate and appreciate. For us as a nation, all their efforts will not go unnoticed.
"This is also a clarion call to the men still in service, that when issues happen, the government will certainly not forget them," he said.
Sanwo-Olu also said that the government was security-friendly and would be collaborating with the security agencies in several ways.
He added that some members of the Nigerian Legion were employed by the state as a way to continue to support them.
Also, the chief judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, said that the programme was to appreciate the efforts of the Armed Forces, especially the fallen heroes, for the sacrifices they made for the country.
Alogba said that the deceased laid down their lives for the peace, unity and freedom of the country, hence they would always be remembered.
"This is to show that the fallen heroes are not forgotten and also a way of rekindling courage in those still in service wherever they may find themselves.
"This is a call to everyone to serve judiciously and I pray we do not lose our lives in the course of service," he said.
...CR Legion Chairman Sues For Peace
The Nigerian Legion in Cross River has cautioned those who are still fanning embers of war to desist from it.
The chairman of the Nigerian Legion in the state, Comrade Michael Ekok, said this during the celebration of the 2020 edition of Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Laying of Wreaths at the Cenotaph in Calabar, Wednesday.
Ekok said that "they who witnessed it do not pray that the country should fall into it again."
The chairman who lamented that they are now afflicted with assorted ailments, including hunger, which have necessarily led to deaths of many of their members preached for peace to reign.
He said that there is need for all to work together in unity to avoid a reoccurrence of war as their experience was sad leading to what they are facing currently as a result of what he called unnecessary fights within the nation.
Ekok called for supports from governments and groups to keep them going, explaining that "Many of our members are now very weak and well beaten. Many of us are afflicted by biting hunger and we cannot feed ourselves, ailments, inability to pay bills."
According to him," We need balance of the funds meant for us. We need more voluntary donations to keep the Legion and our individual selves going. This way, we can support ourselves."
The commissioner for information and orientation, Comrade Asu Okang, charged the Nigerian Legion in the state to partner the state government in the area of Green Money initiative initiated by the administration of Professor Ben Ayade to boost revenue drive and agricultural produce in the state.
The commissioner stressed that the G-Money initiative is not just for indigenes of the state alone but for all residents of the state as the government has recently incorporated an agricultural company, the Cross River Agricultural Development Company, drive the project in the state. Okang urged the Legion and widows of lost heroes to avail themselves of opportunity of taking advantage of the ongoing recruitment into the company so as to maximise the vast agricultural potentials which Cross River was endowed with.
Okang said, "Today we are talking about G-Money and Ayade's G-Money was not just for indigenes of Cross River "but it's for everybody." He further disclosed that "We are going to have the largest feed mill in the whole of Africa, the technology is second to none and you can't find it elsewhere in Africa. We have a wide expanse of land over 33, 000 square metres which means it's not just available for indigenes alone but also to non-indigenes."
"So we are calling on members of the Nigerian Legion to partner the Cross River Agricultural Development Company which has just been incorporated to take advantage of the Green Money that the governor is bringing to bear in the area of agriculture," the commissioner also said.
The information commissioner called for sober reflection from Nigerians across board and solicited for more attention which according to him is necessary to the families of the lost heroes who paid the supreme price for the peace of the nation.
Ayade was represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, and the event was attended by all service commanders, speaker of the State Assembly, Jonas Williams, the chief judge of the state, Head of Diplomatic Corps, chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council were among those that laid the wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldiers.