President Buhari’s remarks at inauguration of Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem, Appeal Fund
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I welcome you all to the formal launching of the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration Emblem and Appeal fund.
SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCH OF THE 2019 ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY EMBLEM AND APPEAL FUND WEDNESDAY 31OCTOBER 2018
I welcome you all to the formal launching of the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration Emblem and Appeal fund. We are here once again to recognise and appreciate the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and veterans of First and Second World Wars, Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support Operations around the World.
We also remember those engaged in Internal Security Operations, particularly the ongoing war on insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.
2. Without a doubt, it is befitting to honour the memory of the gallant officers and men and women who paid the supreme sacrifice to keep the country united. Hundreds of others survived with varying degrees of incapacitation and require our attention and care.
3. The celebration forcefully reminds us of the resolve of our citizens to remain in one united country, Nigeria. It also points out the fact that we had been through a bitter and unfortunate war that led to the loss of millions of our compatriots and the need to do all within our powers to avoid a reoccurrence of war.
4. Furthermore, it portrays our common destiny as a people and the need to harness the benefits of our diversity. Having resolved to remain one united, indivisible and indissoluble nation, I wish to use this medium to call on all stakeholders to be steadfast in the cause of nurturing a united and prosperous nation.
5. There is the need for our political actors in particular to be decorous in their conduct and utterances in order not to fan the embers of disunity. We would have no country to lead if our acts of deliberate incitement lead to the disintegration of our dear nation. Let us put Nigeria first and realise that in every contest there must be one winner.
6. The Nation is appreciative of the gallantry and sacrifices of officers and men of our Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other Internal Security operations. Their effort has led to the return of normalcy in affected parts of the Nation. Regrettably, the Boko Haram Terrorists have over the past two months heartlessly murdered two young and promising aid workers; Saifura Khorsa and Hauwa Liman. It is painful that this happened despite all the efforts of government to effect release of
the two (2) victims.
7. We condemn the callous and cowardly act in its entirety and call on all citizens and friends to forge a united front against this common enemy of our destiny. Once more, I extend the heartfelt condolences of the Government and people of Nigeria to the families and friends of these martyrs.
8. Whilst the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists are being engaged by our Armed Forces, the task before the Government now is the resettlement and rehabilitation of our citizens affected by the war. The Federal and State Governments of affected states are involved in this very important task. In this regard, the Federal Government commend the Dangote Foundation for its partnership with Government in the rebuilding process in Borno State. We call on other Corporate organisations to borrow a leaf from this noble initiative as Government alone cannot satisfy all the needs, given her limited resources.
9. We are aware that it is the business of Government to provide a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. A conducive environment is one which is devoid of security threats and criminality, where life is predictable. It is one in which citizens and foreigners are guaranteed freedom and returns on investment. On the other hand, an insecure environment stifles businesses and undermines growth and prosperity. For this reason, we owe a debt of gratitude to our men and women of the Armed Forces who have the responsibility of securing the Nation.
10. I am happy businesses operating in Nigeria are beginning to give special consideration to members of the Armed Forces and veterans. Specifically, some airlines operating in Nigeria offer discounts to members of the Armed Forces. This gesture is commendable and in line with my call for recognition, consideration and appreciation of our Armed Forces. I urge more business ventures to chip in by assisting the Security Forces in whatever way they can.
11. In particular we have consistently called for citizens and corporate participation in alleviating the suffering of widows and dependants of our fallen heroes. This is in order to complement the efforts of the Government and Services in this regard. I am pleased to note that several non-governmental organisations are rising up to the challenge. Elsewhere, a lot of charity organisations take up the task of catering for the welfare of veterans and members of the Armed Forces. We appreciate the organisations in Nigeria involved in this noble objective and call on others to get involved.
12. To ensure that our veterans continue to share the comradeship that existed while in Service and that their welfare is adequately catered for, the Federal Government established the Nigerian Legion. I am happy to note that the Legion has acquitted itself well by attracting the interest of the private sector.
13. The partnership of the Nigerian Legion with a private sector organisation; National Personal Assets Acquisition Scheme (NAPAAS) endorsed by the Ministry of Defence is now beginning to yield fruits in the area of provision of basic needs and mass transportation scheme. Other areas of collaboration are also envisaged in the partnership. It is hoped that this will open a whole new level of improvement in the living conditions of our veterans and their dependants.
14. I am also happy to note that there is a Bill before the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Legion Act to a proposed “Veterans Federation of Nigeria” Act to ensure proper welfare and health condition of military veterans. It is expected that the 8 National Assembly will give the Bill quick attention.
15. As Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion (Veterans), I wish to pledge my continued support and that of the Federal Government to the organisation. My appreciation goes to State Governors who are patrons in their respective states for the support they are giving to the Legion. I enjoin them not to relent but improve on this.
16. In line with the provisions of the enabling Act, the Nigerian Legion established the Nigerian Legion Corps of Commissionaires. This outfit is involved in provision of security services to government, corporate and private entities.
17. Before launching the Emblem, I wish to call on all Nigerians and others resident in Nigeria to procure and wear the emblems with pride to identify with those who laid down their lives for peace and security of our fatherland. I encourage all to donate generously in support of our veterans and dependants of fallen heroes.
18. Esteemed veterans, ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honour and privilege to launch the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration Emblem and Appeal Fund.