From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday made a case for the welfare of the families of ex-Servicemen who died in the course of serving the nation.
The nation, the Governor said, must not shirk its responsibility in creating economic opportunities for the families of the ex-Servicemen who put down their lives for the unity and progress of Nigeria.
He said the act would keep the faith of their children in oneness of the country and increase their patriotism.
Sanwo-Olu spoke while receiving a delegation of ex-Servicemen who paid a courtesy visit on him at the Lagos House in Alausa.
The delegation, made up of alumni of 3rd Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), met with the Governor ahead of their yearly reunion holding on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lagos.
Spouses of the ex-Servicemen also visited Wife of the Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.
While receiving the delegation, the Governor said: “The country owes a duty to honour servicemen either dead or alive, because their thoughts and aspirations are the benefits some of us are enjoying today. As members of the 3rd Regular Course, it means each one of your members has, at one point or the other, played a part in the wellbeing of our nation.
“Therefore, we must let their families regret the action and heroism of their fathers who put down their lives to keep us united.
“The legacies left by ex-Servicemen also bring the burden of leadership on the present crop of leaders. We must do a lot more so that the generations coming behind us would also have good things to say about us.”
Sanwo-Olu described the ex-Servicemen as “men of high calibre”, noting that their gallantry had shaped the Nigeria narratives since independence. He charged all Nigerians to promote unity and uphold values that would make the labour of the servicemen not to be in vain.
He said: “I am delighted that ex-Servicemen still make out time to do what is important to mankind, which is to bring happiness to people that truly need it. It goes to show that we have improved on the foundation that was bequeathed to us. The activities of the alumni group have also made people to believe in Nigeria, which is the common nationality all of us truly share.”
Leader of the delegation and former Senate President, Sen. David Mark, praised the Lagos Government on behalf of ex-Servicemen for creating a peaceful atmosphere to host the meeting of the participants of the 3rd Regular Course, noting that the alumni took the course 52 years ago at a time Nigeria was facing internal crisis.
Since the alumni body was constituted, Mark, who retired from the military with the rank of Brigadier General, said the group usually met on September 3 and 4 every year to help widows and children of their colleagues who died in active service to the country.
As part of the group’s activities, the former Senate President said children of fallen soldiers get yearly scholarship to enable them further their education and give them hope after the death of their breadwinners.