Nigeria solicits support for families of fallen heroes

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

The Nigerian government says it is committed to enhancing the welfare of war veterans and families of the fallen heroes.

President Muhammadu Buhari said this in his address to the Presidential launch of the emblem for the 2017 Armed Forces and Remembrance Day.

Making reference to the first stanza of Nigeria’s National Anthem, he said, the country could not forget her fallen heroes and that government would continue to promote their welfare as it was already, doing with the recent implementation of a new pension scheme for them.

“The Ministry of Defence has been charged to come up with programmes that will improve the living standards of our veterans. The Federal government will continue to commit itself to addressing he challenges facing our veterans and heroes. To this end, we have implemented the recommendation t increase their pension. We are also happy to note that the military pension scheme is running efficiently,” he said.

The President, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the event, announced a cash donation of N10 million on behalf of the Federal government. He called on other tiers of government and corporate bodies to support the Nigerian

“The emblem launch today is meant to appeal to all Nigerians to identify with the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and veterans by making generous donations towards supporting the Nigerian Legion. This will show that we appreciate their sacrifices and services and prove that their labour was not in vain,” the President stated.

Indivisible Nation

President Buhari noted that Nigeria had been united over the years and would remain indivisible no matter the challenges confronting the nation.

He saluted the courage of the military in tackling insurgency and other security challenges like kidnapping and pipeline vandalism and applauded the Nigerian Legion for initiating programmes that enhance the livelihood of retired military personnel across the country.

The President urged Nigerians to wear the emblem throughout the period of the Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebrations, in appreciation of the gallantry and sacrifices of retired, serving and fallen heroes of the country.

The Minister of Defence, (Rt) Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali, said the theme for this year’s Armed Forces and Remembrance Day: “Appreciating the resilience of Nigeria’s Armed Forces,” was apt, as it highlighted the country’s gratitude for the sacrifices made by the military.

He said the 2017 emblem has been redesigned in that regard.

“The theme of this year’s celebration is very apt and timely. The nation is indeed very grateful to worthy officers and men of the Armed Forces, who are paying the supreme price for our national unity and security,” he said.

National Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, retired Colonel Micah Gayya, who gave the vote of thanks, pledged to judiciously use the funds realized from the emblem launch as he explained ways in which the funds had been used previously.

“Recently, the Nigerian Legion had our humanitarian day in Makurdi, Benue state, where we gave food items to widows, bursaries to children of our fallen heroes as well as financial assistance to fifty veterans, most of whom were veterans of the second world war,” he said.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, Acting Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen, Members of the Federal Executive Council and Diplomats were all present at the launch.