Ben Ezechime, Enugu
Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, has extolled the sacrifices of Nigerian fallen heroes, saying their sacrifices had made citizens to live in freedom and peace.
The governor made the commendation at the 2024 edition of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Enugu on Monday.
According to him, the celebration is an annual event to honour the memory of the brave men and women of the armed forces who have made the supreme sacrifice to ensure that others live in peace.
“These selfless men and women whom we remember and honour today, gave their lives in operations ranging from the Nigerian Civil War and the numerous internal security operations across the country.
“They engage in various peace keeping operations in places as far as Chad, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and many borders.
“As we are all aware they ensure we and countless others across the globe can continue to live in freedom,” he said.
He added that the sacrifices of these departed defenders are most certainly, not lost on us.”
The Governor said it was the responsibilities as the beneficiaries of their great labour of love to ensure that their high price was ultimately not paid in vain.
“Consequently, we must constantly rededicate ourselves to the duties of maintaining peace and security across our nation.
“Not only by eschewing expression of hate, or act of violence and insecurity but also by supporting our brothers and sisters in the security agencies,” he said.
Mbah pledged continued support for the families of these men and women who laid down their lives for the security of the nation.
“I want also to reinstate our profound gratitude on behalf of the government and good people of Enugu State to the commanders, officers, soldiers and airmen of 82 Division of Nigeria Army and 553 based services group.
“Nigeria Air Force as well as the members of the other security agencies for their untiring sacrifices towards securing lives of citizens of Enugu State,” Mbah said
He said the current environment of relative peace and tranquility citizens enjoyed in Enugu State was due to their efforts which, he said were most appreciated and would never be taken for granted.
He commended the officers, men and women of the security agencies for the cordial relationship they had maintained with their various host communities across the state
“I enjoin you all to remain disciplined, competent, and gallant officers we have always known you to be and I pray for the repose of the souls of the members of the armed forces that made the supreme sacrifices in the service to the country and humanity,” he said.
Meanwhile, some of the widows of the fallen heroes who spoke to newsmen during the celebration, decried the neglect and untold hardship they pass through since the death of their breadwinners.
They said their children needed scholarships while they needed finance to start up trade to support their families, adding that most them were chased out of the barrack the moment their husbands died.
Mrs Sarah Ugwuabonyi, the wife of Sergt. Charles Ugwuabonyi, said it was not easy for them as they paid rent, school fees and others.
“Some of our children are out of school, so they need scholarship to continue with their education,” she pleaded.
The event featured laying of wreaths at the foot of the Unknown Soldier sculpted at the Okpara Square by Gov Peter Mbah: the legion; and representatives of the military, police; and traditional rulers.