The unmitigated insecurity by the Boka Haram insurgency in Nigeria has remained a threat to the country while exposing it to danger, Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State has said.
Governor Elechi made the remark on Thursday at Women’s Development Centre during the Emblem Appeal Launching as part of activities to commence the 2014 Armed forces Remembrance Day Celebrations in Abakaliki.
Elechi who noted that the occasions called for sober reflection on the conditions of the relatives of the departed soldiers who recorded huge successes in peace keeping missions regretted that the country now was being threatened by Boko Haram insurgency causing disquiet.
He further recalled that the ex-service men suffered loss of lives, opportunities, enterprise, but were however determined to remain at the fore front of protecting their father’s land by subduing their enemies even as he noted that they did not die for their communities, families, and ethnic group.
He added that the nation had the obligation to ensure that they did not die in vain.
“These soldiers and ex-servicemen fought gallantly not only that we might live but the keep the country united as when a soldier is shot in the battle and he realizes that he will not survive, he goes to his colleague and tells him to remember his family and other dependants.
“If an aspiring soldier realizes that in death, the country would abandon his dependants, he would not be motivated to go into the profession”
He noted that those who survive might receive their pension which would still be inadequate, as he advices it to embark on projects such as granting of soft loans to dependants.
The Legion’s Chairman in the State, Group Capt. Osmond Ogah in his address said that the occasion was an opportunity to bring to heart soldiers who paid the ultimate price in various missions and reflect on the conditions of fallen heroes and their dependants and making a firm resolve to assist them.
According to him, “we also remember our soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice in various missions such as the Somalia, Chad and Liberia crises”
He appealed to the federal government to ensure that outstanding pension arrears owed to retired soldiers were paid even as he noted that effort made last April for the harmonized pension to be paid to them was unsuccessful because the federal government said it was not captured in the budget.
Ogah stated that there was need to assist the legionnaires since a lot of soldiers who would need their help were retiring from service.
“I call on the state government and well meaning individuals and organizations to assist us in the execution of various projects which include: development of its acquired land, vehicles etc.
By Sunday Agbo
By Sunday Agbo