The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, pledged to review the conditions of service of the servicemen in the country if elected as the nation’s president in February.
Abubakar who stated this in Akure, Ondo state capital, during a special service organised by the PDP in Ondo state to mark the Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day, frowned over the treatment melted on the fallen heroes and their families by the present administration in the country.
He lamented over the state of living of the heroes and promised to make life worth living for them, saying special welfare packages would be made available for the servicemen and the families of the dead heroes.
According to him, those that laid their lives for the survival and existence of the country deserved to be honoured and should be treated with dignity and honour, saying they laid their lives down to preserve the unity of the nation and deserve better than what the present government was giving them.
He said: “If elected I shall review the condition of service of our servicemen. They deserve the best but for them the peace and unity we are enjoying as Nigerians won’t be there. We owe them a lot and their sweat should not be allowed to go unrewarded.
“Today is a day of sober reflection and we salute both the living and dead heroes of this country who gave their all for the security and territorial integrity of this nation of ours.”
He assured that his administration would not joke with the welfare of the servicemen while other necessities would be given to them to boost their morale.
He pointed out that “Nigeria had lost its many of its citizens in international peacekeeping efforts and other peace initiatives to return peace across the World.
“l today joined Nigerians to remember our fallen heroes who laid their lives for the unity of this nation.
He, however, called on Nigerians to embrace peace and unity as a means of honouring the gallant efforts of the Nigerian military.
Prayers were offered by both the South West Secretary of the party Rev Bunmi Ogunjenyo and the Deputy state chairman of the party Alhaji Fatai Adams who prayed for peace and unity of the country.
Meanwhile, Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, distributed micro-credit loans to the widows of servicemen from the 32 Artillery Brigade. Owena Cantonment, Akure, who lost the lives in the war against the Boko Haram sect.
Akeredolu who issues a cash gift of N100, 000 to each of the widow of the fallen soldiers from the cantonment, also said his administration would continue to put smiles on the faces of the dependants of the fallen heroes.
The governor stated that the cash was distributed to cushion the impact of immediate challenges engendered by the unfortunate losses but noted that no amount of money can replace a lost life.
He, however, called on individuals and corporate organisations to assist in bringing smiles to the faces of this category of persons who had become vulnerable because of the loss of their breadwinners.
While highlighting the steps taken by his administration to ensure the security of lives and properties in the state, Akeredolu said: “I want to seize this opportunity to thank the security agencies for their efforts in providing security in the State.
“Recently, Operation Egwu Eke III was launched in the State to address our security challenges. This was not unconnected with the incessant cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and ritual killings in parts of the State.
“I want to thank the Brigade Commander and his officers and men for their gallantry. We have started to see the effect of this exercise as all these crime-prone areas have been quiet of late.
“The State Government is also holding meetings with all the relevant stakeholders in the State, including the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and our traditional institutions.
“Also, as part of efforts to completely stem the tide, in the next few weeks, we shall be providing additional new operational vehicles for our security agencies for adequate, effective and efficient patrol of the state.
“The state Government is also organising a Security Summit later in the week. We are looking at the security architecture of the State holistically and trying to look at the challenges and proffering suitable solutions. I want to assure you of the readiness of the State Government to implement workable solutions generated at the end of the summit.”
The governor also said his administration has given the state’s cenotaph a face-lift in line with the demand of the Chairman, Nigerian Legion in the State.
According to him, “It is obvious that the Cenotaph that was constructed in 1994 had suffered serious neglect for many years. This was the situation when the demand for the upgrade/facelift was made, which led to what we are all seeing today.
“Though the work started late, it is, however, gratifying to see the effort we are making in renovating the Cenotaph. In a similar vein, I want to enjoin the Chairmen of Caretaker Committees in the Local Government Councils to consider having befitting Cenotaphs in their respective Local Government Area Headquarters in the State.
“The spirits of our departed heroes lying symbolically within the Cenotaph, deserve our recognition and appreciation at all times.”