Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has charged the Federal Government to give priority attention to officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their commitment to ensuring national unity and security.
He said, while it was good to dedicate a day every year to appreciate the Armed Forces for their contributions in ensuring that the civil populace live peacefully, the Federal Government should do more for them.
He said the Armed Forces Remembrance Day was not enough to recognise those who died or suffered injuries while defending the country.
Wike stated this at the Interdenominational Church Service to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt yesterday.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor said: “It is not easy for people to make sacrifices for the sake of the country. Many of them laid down their lives to protect us. While most of us are sleeping, they are busy fighting to defend the citizens and the country’s sovereignty.
“In doing that, many died, some were injured to the point they can’t be useful to themselves again throughout their lives. It is painful that a man goes to work with the hope that he will come back home, but the children are told that theirdad died, while protecting the country.
“So, we must think of a special recognition for our fallen heroes and those who are still in service. For instance, the banditry and insurgency in Borno, Yobe states and other parts of the country is a case in point.”
While commending the officers for their sacrifices in safeguarding the country and ensuring peace, Wike urged the Federal Government to come up with something more concrete to cater for officers’ families in the event of injuries or death.
In his sermon, Bishop of Niger Delta Diocese, Reverend Wisdom Budu Ihunwo admonished Nigerian leaders to emulate Jesus Christ, who came to earth and fulfilled the dictates of his manifestos without distraction.
He said Jesus knew there were spiritual and physical challenges confronting people and he preached to the poor, liberated prisoners of addiction, healed the sick, blind and delivered the oppressed.
The cleric wondered why most politicians make promises they could not keep and even turn around to oppress the people by increasing their sufferings, adding: “There is so much killings in the country, yet nobody has been arrested or prosecuted.”
He pointed out that the people’s hope was failing because government at all levels had failed to protect life and property of citizens, insisting that Nigeria could not be better with profound injustice, oppression and leaders’ lacking integrity.
He commended Governor Wike for embarking on massive infrastructure development across the state in fulfillment of his electoral promises to the people.