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Published On: Mon, Dec 8th, 2014

Jonathan urges defaulters to redeem pledges to Nigerian Legion

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…As Jimoh Ibrahim launches emblem with N30m

By Lawrence Olaoye

President Goodluck Jonathan has called on all those who made pledges to the Nigerian Legion last year to immediately redeem their vows.

This is coming as the President ordered public officials and visitors alike to wear the Legion’s emblem at government offices till January 15, 2015.

The President, who claimed responsibility for the inability of the Legion to redeem the outstanding N75 million pledges owed by the defaulters, equally ordered his Chief of Staff, James Arogbofa, to submit their list to him.

Speaking yesterday at the inauguration of the emblem at a ceremony held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Jonathan said he would personally wear the emblem and also implored all government officials and other Nigerians to put it on with pride throughout this period

He noted that wearing the emblem would go a long way to appreciate the sacrifices members of the armed forces had made to ensure the peace, unity and progress of the nation.

The President commended the courage of the armed forces in defending the sovereignty of the nation as well as maintaining the peace and security of the country.

He noted that the armed forces had been able to rise up to the challenge of terrorism in the country.

The President called on all Nigerians and private organisations to support the worthy cause by donating generously to the launch of the emblem in other to show appreciation for the sacrifice made by fallen heroes and to encourage those who are still in the service.

At the inauguration yesterday, the Group Managing Director of Energy Group and Publisher of National Mirror newspapers, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR, who was a co-launcher at the event launched the emblem with N30 million

He also announced the donation of 10 vehicles, which would be delivered to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President.

In his welcome address, the National Chairman Nigerian Legion, Micah Gayyah noted that out of the N105 million pledged on December 16 last year, only N30 million had been redeemed to date, adding that the legion lost over 100 members to the current insurgency in the North East and the affected families are in dire need of help.

“The saddest thing is that these pledges are made in the public, leaving us with no avenue to tell the world that such pledges have not been redeemed. We call with a loud voice on those who did not redeem their pledges to honourably do so”, Gayyah said.

He, therefore, appealed to those who would make donations at this year’s inauguration to make pledges that they can redeem so that he would not be accused of stealing money that he does not see.

Gayyah regretted  that the legion had not been able to give financial support to amputees in the legion, saying that they still use wooden limps of 1969, adding that because of age and weight of the limps, they can no longer move around with them.

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