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FG Commits at Armed Forces Remembrance Service

A Call for National Unity and Recognition of Fallen Heroes

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

In an emotive address at the Interdenominational Church Service for the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration in Abuja, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the President of the Senate, affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening Nigeria’s unity. Held at the National Christian Centre, this solemn event was not just a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Armed Forces but also a clarion call for national unity and collective resilience.

Senator Akpabio, representing the Federal Government, expressed that the continued existence and unity of Nigeria are deeply rooted in its rich cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity. He emphasized the need for all citizens to embrace unity, asserting that the current administration is doubling its efforts to secure the country amidst various challenges.

The service was marked by poignant tributes to the members of the Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives for the nation’s unity. Senator Akpabio’s speech was a heartfelt acknowledgment of these sacrifices, assuring that their labor would never be in vain. He urged the Christendom and other stakeholders in the Nigerian project to unite in support of President Ahmed Tinubu’s government and the nation’s Armed Forces in addressing issues threatening the country’s co-existence.

Reflecting on the tumultuous year of 2023, marked by general elections and a change in leadership, Senator Akpabio noted the nation’s ongoing struggle with the effects of long-overdue multisectoral reforms. He called for support for President Tinubu’s government during this critical time, reiterating the President’s assurance that the nation’s tough times would not last and urging renewed hope for a prosperous Nigeria.

Senator Akpabio’s message was one of unity and reflection, urging stakeholders to set aside differences, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political affiliations. He highlighted the need for a collective strategy for the nation’s progress, acknowledging the sacrifices of the Armed Forces in preserving the country’s unity. The call for sober reflection included remembering past events like the civil war and current challenges such as the war on insurgency, attacks on civilians, and the spate of kidnappings across the country.

In a significant appeal, Senator Akpabio called upon the church to partner with the government in rebranding Nigeria. He urged the church to continue spreading messages of love, tolerance, peace, unity, and progress, emphasizing the need to transcend ethnic and religious divisions.

Reaffirming the administration’s commitment, Senator Akpabio declared that the government is more determined than ever to strengthen and promote the oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria. He stressed that the nation’s strength lies in its diversity, a sentiment that resonates deeply in a country as culturally rich and varied as Nigeria.

The event also highlighted the government’s initiatives to support the families of fallen heroes. Senator Akpabio assured that policies are being evolved to address the challenges faced by the families of deceased military personnel. He mentioned the inclusion of veterans, their dependents, and caregivers into the Social Welfare Register through the Ministry of Defence as a commendable initiative of the current administration. This move reflects the government’s recognition of the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and its commitment to providing for those left behind.

The President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, was commended for his dedication to implementing welfare programs within the services for the families of deceased personnel. Senator Akpabio emphasized the government’s continuous efforts to address any gaps in support for these families, acknowledging the profound impact of their loss on the nation.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration serves as a reminder of the ultimate price paid by many for the country’s peace and stability. It’s a day of honor and reflection, reminding citizens of the importance of unity, sacrifice, and patriotism. The event also serves as a platform for the government to reiterate its commitment to addressing national security challenges and fostering a sense of national pride and cohesion.

As Nigeria continues to navigate through a complex socio-political landscape, the call for unity and support for the government’s efforts becomes increasingly vital. The recognition of the Armed Forces’ sacrifices and the government’s commitment to their welfare and that of their families is a crucial aspect of building a resilient and unified nation.

In his concluding remarks, Senator Akpabio reiterated the need for all Nigerians to salute the courage and appreciate the sacrifices of the men and women of the Armed Forces. He called for solidarity with the families of the fallen heroes and heroines, assuring them of the government’s continued support.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day thus stands as a symbol of unity, sacrifice, and national resilience. It is a day that not only honors those who have fallen but also serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts required to maintain peace and unity in a diverse and dynamic country like Nigeria.

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