President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja appealed to Nigerians to desist from actions and comments that could jeopardise the unity and progress of the nation.
He equally heaped praises on personnel of the nation’s armed forces who strive daily to uphold the unity of Nigeria that was won at a great cost
He spoke at the State House, Abuja while launching the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRD) Emblem and Appeal Fund.
The President said this year’s occasion reminded Nigerians of the need to guard jealously the unity of the nation which was won at great cost.
He stressed that ‘‘Nigeria’s strength lies in her diversity’’, and honoured the memory of the nation’s fallen heroes and veterans, while recounting their sacrifices during the First and Second World Wars, the Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support Operations around the world.
Buhari also paid tribute to men and women currently engaged in internal security operations, particularly the ongoing fight against insurgency, terrorism and armed banditry in some parts of the country, praising them for remaining steadfast in the difficult task of restoring peace and security despite the coronavirus pandemic.
”We honour the memory of our gallant officers and men who have paid the supreme sacrifice in order to keep the country united as one entity.
”The nation remains grateful for the efforts and sacrifice of the Armed Forces especially in the fight against insurgency and other internal security challenges confronting Nigeria,’’ he said.
On security operations in the North West and North Central zones in the country, President Buhari expressed delight at the return of normalcy in some of the areas that previously witnessed security challenges.
The President, who restated that his administration would continue to forge useful alliances with neighbours and friends in the international community for the total defeat of the security threats affecting the sub-region, promised to ensure timely provision of adequate resources and necessary logistics support for the Armed Forces.
President Buhari further pledged that under his watch the Nigeria Armed Forces will operate with the best modern warfare equipment, with welfare issues receiving utmost attention.
”We are quite aware that it is our responsibility to provide a conducive environment that is devoid of security threats.
”I want to re-assure Nigerians that security being one of the pillars of this administration will continue to be at the forefront until peace and security are restored in the country,’’ he said.
On support for families of members of the Armed Forces who died in active service, President Buhari acknowledged that the unfortunate cost of the fight against insurgency and other internal security challenges was the unavoidable loss of lives of some gallant compatriots.
”The reality is that the spouses and defendants of these bread-winners in most cases experience trauma and deprivation. However, we can be of support to them to lighten their burdens especially in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
”I therefore call on all to spare a thought for them and take positive steps to come to their aid,” he said, commending charity organisations engaged in the noble cause of bringing succour to the families of fallen heroes and veterans.
President Buhari announced a donation of N10 million to the Nigerian Legion, and enjoined state governments and individuals to support the Legion too.
In his address of welcome, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd) called on members of the civil society, religious and political leaders, the academia as well as the media to educate and enlighten Nigerians on the need to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices of gallant compatriots in uniform.
He also encouraged Nigerians to procure and wear the emblem to boost the morale of serving personnel.