By Chimezie Godfrey
Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi(rtd) has said that the country recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices of the nation’s fallen heroes, veterans, and Armed forces.He noted that they face daunting challenges and have laid down their lives in exercise of their mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country against internal and external aggression.
Magashi in Abuja on Friday during the occasion of the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration said that members of the Armed Forces have paid the supreme sacrifice and sustained varying degrees of injuries in the fight against Boko Haram in the North East as well as tackling other internal and security problems in the North West and other parts of the country.
He disclosed that their sacrifices have led to the return of normalcy and relative peace in the North East with the return of civil institutions and most of the internally displaced persons to their ancestral homes.
He said, “Annually, the country through the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, veterans and Armed forces.
“It is the desire of government that this act of remembrance be implanted in the hearts of all Nigerians so that we can on daily basis act in ways that show our appreciation.
“We owe it a duty to give consideration to the plight of the wives of the fallen heroes.
“We appreciates the works of some Non-Governmental Organizations that have catered for these categories of citizens,
“It expected that more of such organizations will rise to the challenges of addressing the needs of these special Nigerians.
“The efforts of the services at providing scholarship for the eligible children of their personnel who died in active service up to tertiary level can be augmented by corporate organizations operating in Nigeria to capture dependants outside the official coverage net.
“This can be considered as a worthy corporate social responsibility initiative.”
He further disclosed that the Federal and State governments are also involved in rebuilding public institutions and communities affected by the long-drawn war on insurgency.
“Thankfully, some corporate organizations whose contribution we sincerely appreciate have lent their support in concrete terms to rebuilding /resettlement process of the war affected citizens.
“We wish to appreciate and applaud these organizations and call on other well-meaning corporate bodies and citizens to also contribute their quota to ease the burden of our affected compatriots,” he said.
He described the Armed forces remembrance day or veterans day as a very important day celebrated by countries globally.
The Minister said that the event heralds the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, which will be marked by other activities which includes Emblem Launch by Mr President, the Nigerian Legion Humanitarian Day, Religious services, Wreath Laying Ceremony, and the review of the Nigerian Legion Act, among others, between Wednesday 16th of October and Wednesday 15 January 2020.