*Urges Nigerians to prioritise welfare of ex-service men
*Launches 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance emblem appeal
By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday announced a donation of N5million towards the welfare of widows of members of the Nigeria Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, urging Nigerians and corporate organisations to continue to donate generously towards their welfare.
Governor Ambode, who announced the donation at the launch of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem Appeal, held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said members of the Armed Forces over the years have continued to demonstrate courage and gallantry, which according to him have resulted in the return of relative peace to the North eastern part of the country.
The Governor said that the occasion was one that afforded Nigerians the opportunity to spare a thought for the nation’s deceased heroes and to contribute to the welfare and wellbeing of the families they left behind.
“Every year, we all come together, in different parts of the country, to show appreciation for the sacrifice of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces who put their lives on the line to protect the territorial integrity of the nation and keep our country together as one indivisible unit. We must do everything possible not to allow the widows and orphans of these gallant officers to regret the sacrifices made by their husbands and fathers.
“Whatever we do today to make life better for these people, including those Officers and Men who suffered lifelong disability, will go a long way to motivate those still in active service to give their best to the nation.
“I wish therefore to use this opportunity to appeal to Lagosians and corporate organisations to donate generously towards this noble and humanitarian cause. Nothing is too much to give in remembrance of our dead heroes and for the welfare of their families especially during this yuletide season,” the Governor said.
Governor Ambode, while also congratulating the Chairman and members of the Nigerian Legion, Lagos State Chapter on the launch of the Emblem Appeal, assured that his administration would continue to support the Legion in every way possible.
Responding to an appeal made by the Chairman of Lagos State Branch of Nigerian Legion, Colonel Samuel Akanbi (Rtd), Governor Ambode graciously approved two operational patrol vehicles for the Legion, adding that some of its officers would also be engaged to keep public schools in the State safe.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdul-Lateef Abdul-Hakeem, in his welcome address, announced the activities lined up by the State Government to mark the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, with the theme “Appreciating the Resilience of the Armed Forces”, explaining that the programme of events would commence with a Jumat Service at the Alausa Secretariat Mosque, while a church service would take place at the Chapel of Christ the Light, also in Alausa.
He said the activities would climax with the Wreath Laying Ceremony which would take place Remembrance Arcade, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos.
In his brief remarks, Colonel Samuel Akanbi (Rtd) praised Governor Ambode for his efforts at rapidly transforming the state, stressing that several infrastructures have been inaugurated by the present administration in the last 18 months.
He, however, thanked the Governor for engaging members of the legion in the security plans of the state but also urged him to consider more members and see to the replacement of their dilapidated bus, both requests which the Governor instantly approved.