Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has announced the donation of N50million for the empowerment of widows of fallen heroes.
The governor announced this on Saturday in commemoration of 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
Governor Wike led members of the state executive council and leaders of other arms of government and institutions to mark the ceremony in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The first phase of the event was held at the Isaac Boro Park where Governor Wike, his Deputy, the legislative Speaker, the Chief Judge and the heads of security laid the wreaths at the cenotaph, before the release of the symbolic pigeon of peace by the Governor.
A celebration event was also held at the Government House where the governor announced the donation of N50million for the empowerment of widows of fallen heroes
The Governor said further that the willingness of some individuals to join the force in order to fight for the peace and unity of the country is the greatest service to a Nation, called on Nigerians to show a great deal of gratitude to the veterans, widows and dependents of fallen heroes for their sacrifices.
He, however, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do more in ending the insecurity in the country, which is also claiming the lives of security personnel.
SEE THE GOVERNOR’S FULL STATEMENT BELOW…
GOVERNOR WIKE’S REMARKS AT AT 2022 ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY
15TH JANUARY 2022, PORT HARCOURT
Today is yet another day on which we have gathered to acknowledge the heroic sacrifice of the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces who dedicated their lives to the service of our nation.
To serve in our armed forces is to answer the most ennobling national call to defend our nation’s territorial integrity and to protect our sovereignty as an independent nation.
They answered the national call and fought in the first and second world wars to preserve world peace and security.
They answered this call and readily participated in peace-keeping missions in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Somalia, South-Sudan and some other countries both in Africa and across the world.
They answered this solemn call when they fought the 30 months of civil war to defend the territorial integrity of the Nigerian nation and prevented it from disintegration.
Even now, our nation has been at war for over ten years with our armed forces seriously engaged in offensive combat against the different terrorists groups, including Boko Haram, the Islamic State of West Africa Province, and bandits who are fanatically bent on destroying our country in vain pursuit of their devilish social, economic and religions agendas.
In all these wars and violent conflicts, whether within or outside the nation’s shores, what we all know is that our armed forces are and have been the primary victims.
While most survived to tell their stories about the horrors of war and conflicts; some inevitably paid the ultimate price, while some others survived with horrific bodily wounds and scares.
For us, there can be no greater service for a nation than that which demands of you to be ready and willing to lay down your life at any time of your active career so that your country can be safe and secure and your people can have their own freedom and peaceful lives.
We, therefore, owe a great debt of gratitude to these men and women, dead or alive, who answered and have continued to answer the national call, from generation to generation, throughout history for their unwavering bravery, courage and sacrifice for our nation, Africa and the world.
And as we honour the memory of our heroes who are no longer with us, let us also recognize the serving members of our armed forces that are here with us whose services and patriotism are responsible for the continued existence and freedom of our country.
Please, may all the serving members of our armed forces stand to be recognized with a public applause?
As the enduring symbols of national unity, we are all proud of our armed forces not only for your principled loyalty to the nation but also for your capacity and commitment to defend our territorial integrity, democracy and constitutional freedoms.
It is also significant to appreciate that, for several families across the nation and communities, today’s remembrance ceremony is a very painful reminder of the loved ones that they lost years, months and even barely weeks ago.
Perhaps, granting consent for a loved one to enlist in the armed forces knowing that he or she may die in the service, remains one of the toughest decisions any parent, guardian or spouse can make.
But they did and gave their loved ones to the service of the nation; for the love of our nation; and for the peace and security of their people.
What they did is therefore a great and inspiring lesson in courage and selflessness, for which we owe them all the possible debt of gratitude, respect and honour.
Please join me, once again, to recognize all those family members here today who have lost their loved ones in the service of our nation as we continue to assure them that we will never forget them and their sacrifice for as long as we live.
We commend the Armed Forces of Nigeria as the enduring symbol of our unity, and for their loyalty to the nation; their capacity and commitment to defend our territorial integrity and for their efforts at achieving peace and security through their offensive engagements against internal terrorism and banditry across the country.
Nigeria is at the crossroads and everyone is weary about the prolonged Boko Haram insurgency, the unbridled killings by the bandits and the increasing insecurity in most parts of country with members of our armed forces continuing to pay the price of these internal wars.
We acknowledge that some progress has been made in the fight against the insurgents. However, the generality of Nigerians believes that the progress made can’t be good enough insofar as Boko haram, its affiliates and the bandits are still active in the North-East, North-West and some other parts of the country killing, maiming and kidnapping helpless people, including school children, and destroying and displacing hapless communities.
We, therefore, call on Mr President to redouble his efforts and fulfil his cardinal electoral promise to secure the country and ensure that Nigerians feel safe and remain safe and secure wherever they are in their own country.
We also count on our armed forces to quickly end the raging insurgency and restore peace and hope to all our distressed people and communities who bear the physical, emotional and psychological scars of war and destruction.
Our troops are equal to accomplishing this noble task if well-equipped and appropriately motivated by the Federal Government.
In closing, I just want to say thank you to our armed forces, the veterans and family members of our fallen heroes for your service and sacrifice to our nation and to every Nigerian.
Thank you for your attention. May God bless you all and protect our armed forces.