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Buhari To Nigerians: Don’t Jeopardise Our Unity

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja appealed to Nigerians to desist from actions and comments that could jeop­ardise the unity and progress of the nation.

He said this while launch­ing the 2021 Armed Forces Re­membrance Day (AFRD) Em­blem and Appeal Fund at the State House, Abuja, stressing that this year’s occasion re­minds Nigerians of the need to guard jealously the unity of the nation which was won at great cost.

The president, who stressed that “Nigeria’s strength lies in her diversity”, honoured the memory of the nation’s fallen heroes and vet­erans, recounting their sacri­fices during the First and Sec­ond World Wars, the Nigerian Civil War and peace support operations around the world.

He also paid tribute to men and women currently engaged in internal security operations, particularly the ongoing fight against insur­gency, terrorism and armed banditry in some parts of the country, praising them for remaining steadfast in the difficult task of restoring peace and security despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“We honour the memory of our gallant officers and men who have paid the su­preme sacrifice in order to keep the country united as one entity.

“The nation remains grate­ful for the efforts and sacrifice of the Armed Forces especial­ly in the fight against insur­gency and other internal se­curity challenges confronting Nigeria.

“The Armed Forces Re­membrance Day or Veterans Day as it is known in some parts of the world is an im­portant event observed in commemoration of the end of the Second World War.

“In Commonwealth mem­ber countries, the Remem­brance Day is observed on 11th November yearly. Howev­er, for us the date was changed to 15th January annually to accommodate the commem­oration of the end of the Nige­rian Civil War,” he said.

On security operations in the North West and North Central zones in the country, President Buhari expressed delight at the return of nor­malcy in some of the areas that previously witnessed security challenges.

“Our dear nation has wit­nessed numerous security challenges since indepen­dence.

“These security threats have undermined Nigeria in the areas of trade, invest­ment and economy, education, health as well as agriculture and frequently denied Nige­rians the freedom of move­ment.

“I am however pleased to state that a lot has been achieved in the internal secu­rity operations in the North West and North Central zones where in addition to Opera­tions Lafiya Dole, Hadarin Daji, Harbin Kunama, Whirl Stroke, other operations such as Accord, Sahel Sanity and Katsina were successfully launched.

“This has led to the return of normalcy in some of the affected areas. However, all hands must be on deck to check attacks on soft targets,” he said.

The president, who restat­ed that his administration will continue to forge useful alliances with neighbours and friends in the international community for the total defeat of the security threats affect­ing the sub-region, promised to ensure timely provision of adequate resources and neces­sary logistics support for the Armed Forces.

Buhari also pledged that under his watch the Armed Forces will operate with the best modern warfare equip­ment, with welfare issues re­ceiving utmost attention.

“We are quite aware that it is our responsibility to pro­vide a conducive environment that is devoid of security threats.

“I want to re-assure Nige­rians that security being one of the pillars of this adminis­tration will continue to be at the forefront until peace and security are restored in the country,” he said.

The president also used the occasion to reassure Nigeri­ans of his administration’s commitment to creating an environment in which all cit­izens and foreigners are guar­anteed freedom and returns on investments.

He, therefore, urged busi­ness enterprises to render discounts and rebates to men and women in uniform as a symbol of appreciation for their sacrifices, saying, “This kind gesture will make life easier for them and deepen their patriotism”.

On support for families of members of the Armed Forc­es who died in active service, President Buhari acknowl­edged that the unfortunate cost of the fight against in­surgency and other internal security challenges was the unavoidable loss of lives of some gallant compatriots.

“The reality is that the spouses and dependents of these bread-winners in most cases experience trauma and deprivation. However, we can be of support to them to light­en their burdens especially in light of the COVID-19 pan­demic.”

Speaking as the grand pa­tron of the Nigerian Legion, the president expressed de­light that the Nigerian legion has continued to be a rallying point of veterans, doing a lot in catering for the welfare of ailing members.

President Buhari later announced a donation of N10 million to the Nigerian Legion.

In his address of welcome, the Minister of Defence, Ma­jor General Bashir Magashi (rtd) called on members of the civil society, religious and political leaders, the academia as well as the media to educate and enlighten Nigerians on the need to recognise and ap­preciate the sacrifices of gal­lant compatriots in uniform.

In his remarks, the chair­man, Nigerian Legion, Brigadier General Adakole Jones Akpa (rtd), thanked President Buahri for his unrelenting support to the ex-servicemen, particularly in ensuring the prompt pay­ment of pensions.

Akpa, who also recognised the presence and support of Vice President Yemi Osin­bajo, Senate President Ah­mad Lawan, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, members of the diplomatic corps and the service chiefs, said despite the challenges facing the coun­try, “God is with Nigeria. We should sing the Nigerian song as nobody will sing it for us.”

During the emblem launch ceremony, the chairman, Ni­gerian Legion, decorated President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo with the 2021 AFRD emblem.

Shun Negative Tendencies, Buhari Tells Nigerian Youths

Meanwhile, as Muslims in Nigeria join others all over the world to mark

Eid-el-Maulud, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged all citizens to use the occasion to reflect on the virtues of the Holy Prophet by showing love and under­standing for fellow citizens while exhibiting patience, honesty, sincerity, kindness and generosity in all their undertakings.

In a message to Muslims commemorating the birth­day of Prophet Moham­med (SAW) which is being marked as public holiday, the president urged all cit­izens, and the youth in par­ticular, to shun all negative tendencies as manifested in the recent hijacking of peaceful protests to loot and destroy public and private property.

He also reiterated his earlier promise to bring po­lice officers responsible for misconduct as well as the looters to justice.

On the COVID-19 pan­demic, President Buhari, while noting that the coun­try has so far managed the problem successfully by keeping the numbers as low as possible, however, cau­tioned that Nigerians must not stretch their luck too far.

“Looking at the trends in other countries, we must do all we can to avert the sec­ond wave of the pandemic. We must make sure that our cases, which have gone down, do not rise again. Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown,” he said.

A statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Wednesday, quoted the pres­ident, as advising all citi­zens to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols of social distancing, wearing of face masks and washing of hands.

Source: Daily Independent

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