By Jubril Bada & Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has appreciated members of the Nigerian Legion for their steadfastness, perseverance, exemplary conducts and meaningful contributions to the growth and development of the nation particularly in the area of security.
The Governor gave the commendation during the launch of the Emblem Appeal for the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held in his office in Akure.
Represented by his deputy, Hon Agboola Ajayi, Akeredolu hinted that the purpose of the celebration is to continually recognise the selfless services and sacrifices of the fallen heroes who laid down their lives in their determination to keep the country as one, in spite of unpatriotic agitations and insurgency in some parts of the country.
“The sustained efforts of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in keeping at bay the Boko Haram, IPOB, MASSOB and similar groups in the country must also be acknowledged.
“To a large extent, these sacrifices have ensured national cohesion and promoted global peace”, he said.
Akeredolu who described the occasion as unique for the government and the society, stated that the event was meant to soberly reflect on the plights of the living heroes with a resolve to ensuring that they live socially acceptable lives.
He added that one of the major objectives of the Emblem Appeal Fund “is that it provides the golden opportunity of giving financial and material supports to the families of the fallen heroes as well as the veterans who survived various military operations with some of them sustaining various degrees of injuries that had been rendered handicapped”.
He used the event to call on the youths to imbibe the spirit of patriotism, adding that they should be educated on the benefits of being ready at all times to serve their fatherland selflessly.
Governor Akeredolu who noted that families anddependants, especially widows and children of the great Nigerians who lost their lives in the course of wars and peace-keeping missions have been exposed to deprivation and untold hardship, pointed out that the celebration will be used to raise funds through donations and sales of Emblems for their welfare.
He said: “To this end, I enjoin all Local Government Councils to celebrate the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day starting with purchase and sale of the Emblem, and to donate generously to the fund.
” As we flag-off this Remembrance Day today with the Emblem Appeal launch, I urge you all, especially our corporate organizations, good spirited individuals and Non-Governmental Organizations to donate generously towards this noble cause by purchasing the Remembrance Emblem which will henceforth be on sale till 15th January, 2018″, the Governor said.
Earlier, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Omowunm Olatunji-Edet, had noted that the annual event is designed to remember the fallen heroes who fought gallantly to keep the nation united.
She added that it is also to acknowledge the selfless efforts of the nation’s brave Soldiers who are still serving in various battle fields, flying the country’s banner of pride in both domestic and international military assignments.
“It is also a time to show a deep sense of deference for the efforts of those who lost their lives in the course of defending the unity of our nation and those who became disabled in the process.
The Commissioner however appealed to citizens of the state to appreciate the efforts of the fallen heroes by donating handsomely for the welfare and upkeep of the family members they left behind, especially their widows and children and for the surviving Soldiers who are incapacitated and unable to fend for themselves.
In his speech, the State Chairman Nigeria Legion, Colonel, Olu Apata (Rtd), said the armed forces remembrance day celebration “is an annual event which the federal government specifically set aside some days to remark and give honour to compatriots and fallen heroes.
Apata appreciated the sacrifices the fallen heroes have selflessly made for the purpose of peace and unity of the country in particular and the world in general.