By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Brig Gen Jones Akpa (rtd) has solicited for peace in the country.
He made the call at an event marking the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration 2021, where the Nigerian Legion held its Humanitarian Day in Abuja to recognize and honour the wives, widows and children of fallen heroes who gave their lives in serving the nation.
The Chairman stated that the Nigerian Legion is engaged in lots of activities to enshrine peace in the country and urged for patience and patriotism.
Brig.-Gen. Akpa (rtd) stated that Nigerian military personnel, who paid the Supreme sacrifice in the patriotic duty of keeping the nation together and stable, are “Real Life Heroes” who should be celebrated.
According to him “There is Nexus between the UN theme for this year 2020 and our vision at the Nigerian Legion. Our colleagues, who were your husbands, fathers and compatriots are our fallen heroes while you the widows, children and other dependants are our real Life Heroes,” he said.
“Our aim for them in the Nigerian Legion and Ministry of Defence can be captured with the acronym AIM which means, Alleviate Suffering, Improve Lives and Maintain their Human Dignity.”
He said President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (RTD) as well as the CDS and Service Chiefs have been a pillar of support to the Legion.
At the event, the MD and CEO of NAPAAS, National Personal Asset Acquisition Scheme, Alhaji Muhammad Aminu Bello unveiled a programme to support families left behind by late personnel and living ex-service men across the country.
“As we mark humanitarian day, it is pertinent to ask ourselves how far we have recognized our fallen heroes beyond the symbolism of presentation of a few items and photo opportunities with the ones left behind,” Bello said.
“What do we give their widows to help cushion the pain of losing their loved ones and bread winners? How do we take care of the education of the children they left behind and ensure that they grow up to become proud sons and daughters of their departed fathers?”
Giving details of the scheme, Director of Operations, NAAPAS, Engr. Nnadi Eze disclosed that 5,000 Keke NAPEP, 30,000 bags of rice, 100 buses, brand new and 10,000 motorcycles will be given out to the widows of fallen heroes and living ex-service men across the country.
He said a seamless payment system for the items through deductions from pensions and other entitlements spanning months or years agreed upon has been worked out to take care of the financial requirements.
The Minister of Defence was represented at the event by Maj. Gen. Jidda.