Former top military officers rose from a meeting in Otukpo, Benue State on Thursday with a resolve to contribute to the peace and building bridges of understanding across the religious and ethnic divide in the country.
According to a press release signed by Paul Mumeh, chief press secretary to the President of the Senate the meeting was held under the aegis of 3rd Regular Course of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) , Alumni Association Annual General Meeting (AGM).And the retired military officers said peace and unity of Nigeria cannot be compromised.
Furthermore, the release said while making the resolution known at the end of the 2012 AGM hosted by its chairman and the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, the alumni association’s Publicity Secretary and former Transport Minister Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni pledged its readiness to support the present administration in the task of ensuring peace and progress of the nation.
Porbeni urged Nigerians to rise above the mundane or divisive tendencies and face the challenges of nation building.
He said the fight against violence or terrorism in the country should be a challenge to all well meaning Nigerians saying ” no nation has ever developed or progressed in the midst of violence.
” As statesmen, we all have a duty to ensure that peace reigns in our communities, states and the nation at large. We cannot sit back and watch the situation deteriorate. We must come together to say no to violence. No to destruction of lives and property”.
Collaborating Porbeni, former ECOMOG, Commander General Tunji Olurin noted that there is no alternative to peace and security if Nigeria must make progress.
In his comment, former Chief of Army Staff, General Alwali Kazir lamented the challenging Security situation in the country and urged security operatives to be more proactive in order to bring the situation under control.
Kazir counselled that nobody should play the ostrich but to come out and proffer solution even as he advised government to be fair and just to all sections of the country.
Welcoming his colleagues earlier, President of the Senate implored them to continue to play the role of statesmen where ever they find themselves so that citizens can emulate them and learn to live in harmony with one another.
Senator Mark enjoined them to bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear so that the discipline and patriotism inculcated in them in the NDA could be impacted positively on the larger society.
Wife of the President of the Senate, Mrs.Helen Mark had led the spouses of the course 3 participants to pay homage on the O’ch Idoma HRM Ellias KOYI Obekpa in his Palace.
Course 3 of the NDA has produced at least 10 military Governors, one Chief of General Staff, one President of the Senate, two chiefs of Army Staff, two chiefs of Naval staff, two senators and eight ministers.