By Ebenezer Ishola
All sacrifices made by members of the Nigerian armed forces in keeping the nation united will continue to be recognised and honoured by the Government of Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has pledged.
The Governor said the State would always identify with the heroism and gallantry of servicemen who gave their all to the service of the country, promising the State Government won’t relent in supporting family members of ex-service personnel who died fighting for Nigeria unity.
Sanwo-Olu spoke at the launch of the emblem for 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Appeal Fund held on Tuesday at the State House, Marina. The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the State chapter of Nigerian Legion.
The main event for Armed Forces Remembrance is held every January 15, during which military and paramilitary parades are held to commemorate the gallantry of servicemen and ex-personnel.
Sanwo-Olu, who is the patron of the Legion, said the State Government would be supporting the Legion to assist in the welfare of ex-service personnel that became physically challenged in line of duty, while also pledging assistance to Lagos-based relatives of soldiers who died in service.
The Governor said: “As a Government, we will continue to modestly support the welfare of our heroes and identify with your cause. We will continue to ensure that we bring succour and relief to the gallant officers that have served this country at one point in time or the other.
“The ex-servicemen who have now grown to become old soldiers have served the country at the prime age. The least we can do as a State is to continue to celebrate these brave men and women who made sacrifice for our country’s unity. Through the Legion, we will assist in the welfare of those inflicted with disabilities, also ensuring the families of fallen heroes are not forgotten. This is the reason the State generously donate to the Appeal Fund.”
The Governor promised to strengthen its engagement with the Legion and improve their operational efficiency, by donating more patrol vehicles and provide logistical support to the group of ex-servicemen. He said the State would augment budgetary allocation to the Legion.
In demonstration of his generosity to the Legion, Sanwo-Olu launched the emblem and Appeal Fund with N5 million, while promising more donations.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon. Anofi Elegushi, said the launching was one of the important pre-event activities lined up for the marking of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
He disclosed that there would be a special Jumu’ah service on Friday at the Secretariat Central Mosque and interdenominational church service on Sunday at Chapel of Christ the Light in Alausa to commemorate the day.
Deputy Commandant General of the Nigerian Legion in Lagos, who doubles as chairman of the State chapter, Colonel Fola Akande, said the launch of the Appeal Fund by the Governor would put smiles on the faces of over 2,000 beneficiaries of the Legion’s yearly empowerment programmes, stressing that the Legion usually reached out to widows of ex-servicemen, disabled soldiers and orphans.