Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that the Federal Government will not allow any group to jeopardize the hard-earned unity of the country.
The Vice President stated this yesterday at the interdenominational church service held as part of activities to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. January 15th every year is marked as Armed Forces Remembrance Day to honour fallen heroes and the living soldiers.
Osinbajo used the occasion to commend men and officers of the military for the sacrifices they have made in keeping the country one.
He said it was important for Nigerians to appreciate these sacrifices and should not allow the fallen soldiers to die in vain. According to him, “It important to ensure that they did not die in vain.
“This unity and territorial integrity of the nation for which they died must not be jeopardized by the reckless utterances and actions which play on the religious and ethnic fault lines of our nation.”
The vice president explained that the valiant men and women of the armed forces have destroyed the backbone of Boko Haram who once attacked Abuja, Kano and Kaduna with impunity and hoisted their tattered flags over 17 local governments in the North-East.
He said: “Today, both Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa operate as small even if deadly guerrilla bands in parts of Borno State. But in these battles, we have been sharply reminded that indeed, “freedom is not free”.
“That peace is often paid for with blood and gore. And that no nation can secure its territory without the selflessness and the supreme sacrifices of many. And truly as someone said, “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”
“So as we celebrate this Remembrance Day, we solemnly thank the Almighty God for giving us men and women ready to obey the call to fight and, if need be, die for the fatherland.
“We are grateful that they were faithful to the cause, that they did not betray the trust of millions, that they gave up all the comforts of life and the love and affection of family that we may enjoy the same.
“Our posthumous thanks to them and their families who not only bore the fearful apprehension of their going to war, but also the heart break of their deaths. But our gratitude must also mean a commitment to ensuring that their families are cared for, that their children do not ask why the sacrifices they made were made at all.
“The ordinary people of Nigeria have demonstrated time and time again that they share common problems and a belief in common destiny.”
Osinbajo noted that “our unity and peaceful coexistence is the best tribute to our fallen heroes.” Delivering his sermon at the event, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said with the 2019 general elections fast approaching, Nigeria should learn from the lessons and consequences of the 1966 civil war.
Onaiyekan also pointed out that the blood of every Nigerian is precious and should not be allowed to be spilled even as the general elections draw near. He said: “Today, we cannot forget that so many have died in our series of self-inflicted killings, in the shameful chain of coups and counter coups.
This seems to be the case of the untenable moral lie that might is right. In the logic of these often-gory events, those who succeed rule, and grab the highest national honours.
“Those who fail face the firing squad, after secret trials. The issue of right or wrong intentions is conveniently swept aside.
We hope we have, by now, learned our lesson and that we will no longer allow such misuse of our Armed Forces and our military resources. Onaiyekan also warned the security agencies not to put their powers behind injustices and bad governance.