We will not take armed forces for granted ― Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would continue to recognise the sacrifices of the men and women of the nation’s armed forces.
Osinbajo gave the assurance during an interdenominational church service organised by the Ministry of Defence to commemorate the 2020 Armed Force Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the government would continue to prioritise their welfare and the wellbeing of the families of the fallen heroes.
According to the Vice President, “we do not and will not take our men and women of the armed forces for granted.
“We will do better for our veterans and the families of our fallen heroes and to improve the conditions of those in service and we shall do so incrementally.
“And so, today, we came together to thank the men and women of our armed forces for their sterling and selfless service to our nation.
“You have shown uncommon resilience, you have shown courage and commitment to the defence of our country.
“On behalf of government and people of Nigeria, I thank you veterans and serving officers for your faith and your services to our nation and we thank the families of the fallen heroes for your fortitude,” he said.
Osinbajo stated that the sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces both dead and living were responsible for the existence of Nigeria as a nation today.
He added that the country noted that many veterans of various conflicts over time, paid the supreme sacrifice including their families who also paid and continued to pay a heavy price.
According to him, wives or husbands in some cases deprived of their spouses, children growing up without the mentor and counsel of their parents and of course the economic deprivations when only one parent bears the responsibility of bringing up and caring for the family.
“It may not always be evident but it is true that men and women of the armed forces are not just fighting to preserve the Nigeria of today.
“Their efforts are in part dedicated to preserving the future for safer, more secured, more confident, more united nation for our children and grandchildren.
“Every victory won through your immense courage and your toil in the face of mortal dangers are the inevitable labour pains of the new Nigeria. Your labours will not be in vain,” he said.
The National Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Brig.-Gen. Adakole Akpa (retd.), urged the government to continue to improve the welfare and wellbeing of the veterans and their families.
Akpa said that President Muhammadu Buhari had shown commitment that he understood the plight of the legionnaires, adding that the government had assured of its continuous support.
He, however, called on the veterans who are still living to identify with the body to enable them to benefit from the effort of the legion.
According to him, “everyone who has served this country as a war veteran should identify so that the body can plan for them and make them useful citizens.
“Legion has a lot of programmes prepared for everybody including agriculture, agro-allied industry, manufacturing, architecture and estate development.
“These are things that we have in place and the legion is the main platform established by act of the National Assembly to take care of all ex-servicemen both pensioners and those not pensionable,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the interdenominational service is part of the series of events lined up to commemorate the AFRDC 2020.
It is an annual event organised by the Ministry of Defence to honour fallen heroes who laid down their lives during the First and Second World Wars, Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support.
It is to also celebrate those who lost their lives in various internal security operations particularly the current war against terrorism.
The event is celebrated globally on November 11 every year but Nigeria decided to celebrate the day on January 15 to mark the end of the civil war. (NAN)