MY GOODWILL MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF THIS YEAR’ S ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY
I feel quite honoured and pleased to join our leaders and compatriots across the country to celebrate members of our Armed Forces and our fallen heroes in this year’ s Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
To me,the greatest service to one’ s fatherland and the deepest mark of patriotism is to lay down one’ s life in the service and defence of one’ s country. There is no sacrifice,however great, that can be considered greater than this. And this is what our men and women in the Armed Forces have done in their choice and commitment to service.
I,therefore, use the occasion of this year’ s celebration to salute the courage,the patriotism and the altruistic characteristics of all members of our nation’ s Armed Forces ,who,for our comfort ,security and safety, have continued to daily put their lives on the line in total self denial of the love for self,for family and for the pleasures of life.
For those who have followed the history and evolution of the Nigerian Army,our military men and women have through the years, from Burma to Congo,Liberia to Sudan and from the Niger Delta to the Northeastern Region of our nation, distinguished themselves as products of a well- trained and disciplined Army. They have consistently won laurels everywhere they have been involved in peace- keeping, for training and other collaborative operations. Perhaps, owing to the nature of their job their feats are hardly sung or celebrated in a dimension that ought to elicit strong public attention or showcase their prodigious prowess.
As we celebrate this year’ s Armed Forces Remembrance Day,therefore,it is an opportunity to congratulate our soldiers on what they have achieved and stood for over the years as members of a Force even before our Independence in 1960. It may as well have presented us with an opportunity to also send words of solidarity and even gifts to members of our Armed Forces,the Nigerian Legion and,indeed,more compellingly, to families left behind by our fallen heroes.
We must realise that on the battlefields of the ongoing war on terror in the Northeast and on many other fronts across the world, our men and women in uniforms have ,as they deal with the insurgents in the last ten years and other situations, continued to also take casualties and count losses. As Nigerians,therefore,it must matter to us what becomes of families left behind by these fallen heroes. And as our brothers’ keepers,we must learn to, sometimes, spare a thought,a prayer and even a morsel of bread for the families of these people in the theatres of conflicts across our land and the entire globe,knowing that,for our collective safety,they have given up on themselves and on their families and that government,no matter how benevolent, cannot do it all alone in terms of offering them the requisite care and comfort of life.
I wish to,therefore,on behalf of myself,my family and the good people of Gombi/ Hong Federal Constituency, who I represent at the National Assembly, congratulate our dear President, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Buratai and otherl members of our Armed Forces and their families on the celebration of this year’ s occasion for the comrades-in-arm. As I express a deep desire that they and members of their families enjoy the golden fruits of their courage,commitment, labour ,patriotism and above all,altruism,for our nation and people, here on earth,I call on the government to,once again, hearken to the several complaints and agitations for better welfare packages and service remuneration. I also pray for global peace so that our Armed Forces will in the years ahead re-channel their energies and creative prowess to building a better society for mankind.
Long Live our Armed Forces
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Rt. Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub
Gombi/ Hong Federal Constituency, Adamawa State
Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs.