The chairman of Ikono Local Government Council in Akwa Ibom State has lauded fallen heroes and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their sacrifices during various wars, which has been instrumental to our living in peace and continuous unity in the country today.
Mr Itoro Columba disclosed this Wednesday at the Ikono Local Government Area Cenotaph on the occasion of grand finale of the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
Speaking further at the ceremony, the Ikono chief executive expressed excitement over what he described as 'historic annual event to mark and celebrate fallen heroes' whose sacrifices brought unity in the nation. He appreciated the esteemed presence of participants who massively turned out at the ceremony and called on the living not to forget the sacrifices made by ex-service men in a haste.
"I wish to use this forum to charge the living to owe our fallen heroes the duty of preserving the peace and unity of our country and for us to do that successfully, we have to support members of the Nigerian Legion in their activities and in particular, give assistance to the widows and orphans the gallant soldiers left behind. Let our concern and commitment to them be continuous and not end with the laying of the wreaths at the Cenotaph today,â€ he charged.
"Ikono Local Government Council had since last year started engaging some of the Ex-service men as security personnel in the council and this year, we have resolved to continue to be of assistance to them as the need arises,â€ he added.
Earlier, the chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Ikono, Major Johnson Willie, rtd, had welcomed participants to the ceremony, explaining that the occasion was 'a week-long annual activity' in their memorial.
He added, "The antecedent of this celebration took off in the Federal Capital in Abuja on the 16th October, 2019, when Nigeria's President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, launched the Remembrance Emblem Appeal Fund for all the States in the nationâ€.
Highpoint of the 2020 grand finale was the hoisting of the national flag, special prayers for the beloved country, inspection of Guard of Honour by the council boss, March Past by Ex-servicemen, launching of Remembrance Emblems, laying of commemorative wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldier, a minute of silence in honour of departed heroes, blowing of the last post, among others.
Prominent dignitaries, who attended the grand finale and wreaths laying ceremony included the wife of Ikono Local Government chairman, Mrs Ekaette Columba; the vice chairman of Ikono, Mr Idorenyin Etokobong; council secretary, Obonganwan Ofon Mike; leader of Ikono Legislature who doubles as councillor representing Ward 4, Mr Samuel Udo; Ikono PDP chapter chairman, Obong Moses Akpan; paramount ruler of Ikono, Edidem Nyong Obop; former chairman of Ikono and member of Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board, Obonganwan Lovina UmoEfa.
Also in attendance were the senior special assistant to the governor on petroleum matters, Sir Victor Etefia; DPO in-charge of Ikono, CSP Sunday Digha; head of Nigerian Civil Defence in Ikono, SP Robert Nino; immediate past SA to the governor, Prince Inemesit Inyangette; members of Ikono Traditional Rulers Council, village heads, youth groups, women groups, party chieftains and other stakeholders.