From our Correspondent
In the spirit of the celebration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Governor Umo Eno, of Akwa Ibom state has donated a cash gift of N100 million to the widows of soldiers, whose husbands paid the supreme price in the course of keeping Nigeria one.
Besides, the Governor announced the donation of N25 million to the Nigerian Legion.
The Governor underscored the importance of sustainable peace and unity of the country and charged Nigerians to shun any divisive and inflammatory actions and utterances that could threaten the corporate existence of the nation fought for and achieved by the gallant soldiers who also lost their lives in the struggle.
Governor Eno, made the advocacy on Monday, while laying the wreath in honour of the “fallen heroes” at the state cenotaph, UdoUdoma Avenue, Uyo, the state capital.
He said: “Today, because they elected to wear a higher fabric of patriotism, and hearkened to the sentiments once expressed by the late American General and World War II hero, General George that “it is better to fight for something in life than to live for nothing”, we have come here to thank them, to assure them that the sacrifices they made remain eternally appreciated. These heroes and heroines paid the ultimate sacrifice for causes greater than themselves.
“While we salute their bravery and gallantry, let us remind ourselves that the issues that led them to the various theaters of conflict which ultimately led them to pay the ultimate prize would be neutered or better managed in our time.
“As we honour these brave men and women, let us collectively shun tendencies that inflame passions in our polity. Let us celebrate our diversity and see the differences as reflected in our rainbow of our colors as sources for strength rather than those of weakness to be exploited for narrow individual or group political, social or economic advantage.
“Let us narrow down the politics of zero-sum game, the drive to advance at the detriment of others. Let us hold aloft the ennobling flag of inclusivity, of fairness, of equity, of level playing field, of tolerance and of unity. Great nations are built when everyone has a stake and is treated as an equal partner in the greater national schemes.
“When Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu, a young and brilliant officer was cut down in a hail of bullets alongside three other soldiers in Borno State in November, 2021, the sacrifice he made on that day was not for his region, religion, or community, it was for our sake. We owe them our eternal debt of gratitude, not just words, not just the usual bromides, but concrete actions.
“Let us lower the temperature of incendiary and divisive rhetoric, let us address the root causes of social tension in our polity, which today, have given rise to separatist agitations all over the nation. As we gather all over the nation, let us not forget the families of those who paid the ultimate price, let us give them a reason to be feel proud that their husbands, sons and daughters truly died for causes greater than their individual desires,
“Here in Akwa Ibom state, we will continue to work closely and robustly with the Nigerian Armed Forces and other Sister agencies to show our gratitude for their deep collaborations with us, over the years which, today has singled us out as one of the safest states in the nation to live, work and invest.
“It was this spirit of collaboration that led us to create a full-fledged Ministry of Internal Security and Waterways, headed by a retired General of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Koko Essien (rtd), He understands the dynamics of the security architecture and we have given him the free hands and latitude to do all that is necessary and proper to deepen our relationships with the Nigerian Armed Forces and other Sister agencies.
“We will continue to support our Armed Forces and celebrate their patriotism and deep sacrifices they have made to safeguard our sovereignty. As one who lost his father, a Police Officer, in the line of duty to to the Nation, and left a young widow with the task of raising five boys and a girl, I understand what the widows of these fallen heroes are going through.