By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the 2020 Armed Forces emblem in the Presidential Villa.
The President in his remarks yesterday at the launch cautioned that Nigerians should mind the negative impacts of strife and conflicts just as he emphasized that people should avoid actions that emphasized the nation’s differences.
Buhari, who noted that the nation’s strength lied inner diversities, insisted that peace and national security were not negotiable in the country.
The Armed Forces Day, according to the President was deliberately fixed for January 15th to commemorate the end of our civil war and the need to jealously guide her unity won at great cost.
He said that the country was appreciative of the gallantry an sacrifices made by the Armed Forces in the fight against insurgency and other internal security operations urging that all hands must be on deck to check the attacks on soft targets, mostly innocent Nigerians.
He said, “The peace and security of Nigeria is non-negotiable and the security agencies must continue to do their work diligently. As a government, we will continue to provide necessary logistical support to ensure that our Armed Forces operate with the best modern warfare equipment, while at the same time adequately addressing the issues of their welfare.”
Buhari hinted that the government will not waver in her alliances with neighbouring countries to rout out insurgents adding that the task of resettling and rehabilitating citizens as well as the reconstruction of territories affected by the war will continue to be one of the priorities of his administration.
He said, “We shall not rest until all our displaced persons are safely resettled into their communities without fear of further attacks. It is for this reason that the North East Development Commission and Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development were established. The Executive Arm of Government hereby commends the National Assembly for the passage of the Bill establishing the Commission.”
He continued, “It is our hope that with prudent management of limited resources and support from well-meaning Nigerians and Corporate bodies, the Commission working in close collaboration with the Ministry and friends abroad will be able to deliver on their mandate.
“We are aware that it is the business of Government to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. We will not fail to provide our citizens with an atmosphere that is devoid of security threats and criminality, where life is stable and progress is certain.
“Government is also well aware that an insecure environment stifles businesses and undermines growth and prosperity. For this reason, we will like to commend and reinforce our gratitude to our men and women in the Armed Forces who have risen to the challenge of securing our nation and providing enabling environment for national progress.
“It is on this note that we acknowledge and commend the rising trend, where business concerns offer discounted services to our men and women in the Armed Forces in appreciation of their selfless sacrifices to the fatherland. We commend these laudable initiatives and urge more of our business concerns to do likewise. Such gestures would no doubt encourage them in defence of our country and its people.”
Buhari lamented the collateral effects of the fight against insurgents leading to loss of lives stressing that “It is, therefore, our duty to ensure that the loss of these bread winners does not relegate the spouses and dependents to a life of want and deprivation. Government will do all in its powers to look after the bereaved.
“Service leaders must take urgent steps to settle the entitlements of these affected citizens as well as the welfare packages designed for their dependants. It is the responsibility of government to ensure that the families of our fallen heroes do not suffer the loss of their loved ones and at the same time be deprived of their due benefits.”
The President explained that the quest to ensure that veterans continue to share the comradeship that existed while in Service and adequately cater for their welfare at exit, the Federal Government established the Nigerian Legion.
He expressed delight that the legionaires have been carrying out their duties by engaging in productive ventures to support themselves just as he called on all Nigerians to procure and wear the emblems with pride.”