Leaders Call For Peace, Unity


The Armed Forces Remembrance Day was marked nationwide on Sunday to honour soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the defence of the nation and for global peace.

In Osun, Governor Rauf Aregbesola said in a message to the ceremony in Osogbo, that the military should confine itself to its professional responsibilities and respect civil authority, so as to build an enduring democracy in the country.

Represented by his Deputy, Mrs. Titi Tomori, the governor expressed concern on the hardship being encountered by military pensioners in accessing their entitlements and appealed to the Federal Government to intervene.In Cross River, the day was marked with the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph in Calabar, by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Larry Odey and the Chief Judge, Justice Dorathy Eyamba –Idem, among others.

Other activities included the inspection of a guard mounted by the Army, Navy and the Air Force as well as short prayers for peace of the nation.

In Sokoto, the state Deputy Governor Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari, led other dignitaries to lay wreaths at the symbolic tomb of the fallen hero at the Ahmed Maigero Open Air Theatre, Sokoto.

Shagari also reviewed a combined parade by the military and members of the Nigerian Legion in the state.

Special prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes and the sustenance of peace and unity in the country.

NAN recalls that more than N 9.2 million was realised on January 11 at the launch of the remembrance emblem in the state. From Kaduna, reports said that Governor Patrick Yakowa had commended the army for its contributions to the maintenance of law and order in state.

“We commend the GOC, AOC and the various commanders in Kaduna for their contributions to the maintenance of peace in our state and by extension our country.”

He also appreciated the contributions of other security agencies in ensuring law and order, especially during the recent post-election violence in April 2011.

The governor prayed for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes, pledging that the state government would continue to assist the widows and other family members of the deceased.

Yakowa appealed to citizens of the state to remain peaceful and law abiding, for the progress and development of the state.

The governor had earlier inspected a parade mounted by the officers and men of the 1 Division, after which prayers were offered.

In Oyo state, the government also joined other states in the country to celebrate the Day with the laying of wreaths to honour the fallen heroes.

Speaking with newsmen after the event, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, urged the people to live peacefully with one another.

Ajimobi spoke against the backdrop of the recent violence perpetrated by hoodlums during the public protest against the removal of fuel subsidy in the state. He frowned against the destruction of lives and property under the guise of public protest and warned hoodlums to steer clear of the state.

“All those hoodlums who have hijacked the demonstration will be dealt with. We will not allow thugs in our state again. We know them and we will get them”, he said.

He commiserated with the families of the fallen heroes, and reminded the people to appreciate that everyone would die and account for their deeds.

From Okitipupa Local Government in Ondo, the Chairman of the council, Mr Wale Ogunmade, in a message urged people in the area to be security conscious.

Represented by his Special Assistant, Mr. Benson Akinbo, the chairman urged the people to also be their brothers’ keepers.

He said that the council had been supporting the widows and children of ex-service men to alleviate their suffering.

Reports from Enugu said that State Chapter of the Nigeria Legion has commended the federal government for improving the welfare of ex-service men in the country.

Its Chairman, Mr. George Amalu, told newsmen at ceremony in Enugu that the condition of the ex-servicemen had improved.

“The condition of ex-service men is gradually improving and it is the effort of this present administration.

“You cannot get everything you demand from government at the same time, they do it in bits. On our own part, what is left for us is to be patient with government”, Amalu said.

He urged security agencies in the country, especially the armed forces to ensure adequate security and peace in the country.

Wreaths were laid by the state Deputy Governor, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 82 Division, Maj.-Gen. Sunday Idoko, Air Cdre John Gbanwvuan of the 337 BSG and the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dan’azumi Doma, among others.

In Birnin Kebbi, the state chapter of Nigerian Legion has appealed to federal government to settle the seven- year outstanding pension arrears of ex-service men.

The state chairman, Capt. Jibo Dabai (rtd), made the appeal during the celebration to mark the day.

He called on the federal government to pay all entitlements of the ex-service men especially their war bonus that had not been paid since the end of the Nigerian Civil war.

Dabai also called for prayers for peaceful co-existence, saying those who fought in the civil war were dismayed by the sectarian crisis in the country.

He called for dialogue between the federal government and NLC to overcome the dispute over the fuel subsidy removal, “as their strike had caused hardship to the people”.

The state Deputy Gov. Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, had commended the role played by the ex-servicemen in keeping the nation united and called on Nigerians to ensure the unity of the country.

He announced the government’s donation of N500, 000 to the legion.

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