James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Sunday, said those military officers who died in active service should be regarded as martyrs.
He enjoined the people of the state not to wait until the next Remembrance Day to support wives and families of fallen soldiers.
Like the early Christians, who died in the defence of their faith, Abiodun said these “military martyrs paid the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria to remain one and for us to sleep with our two eyes closed”.
He urged fellow Nigerians to look around their neighbourhoods and stretch out their hands of fellowship to them.
Prince Dapo Abiodun said these at the Special Church Service held to mark the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta.
Abiodun said that his administration would continue to support the Nigerian Legion and living heroes and also ensure that it improves the welfare of all retired service personnel.
“I want to enjoin all of us that let us not wait until the Remembrance Day of 2021. Let us look around us, let’s find a widow; let’s find a widower; let’s find an orphan of a fallen soldier; let us reach out to them. May the labour of our heroes not be in vain.
“As an administration, we shall continue to support the Nigerian Legion. We shall continue to appreciate all our fallen heroes. We shall continue to support our living heroes with equipment. We will ensure they are better motivated and we will look after their welfare, so that you and I can sleep better at night,” he said.
In his sermon, the Bishop of Yewa Diocese, Rt. Revd. Micheal Oluwarohunbi, said that the first thing that comes to mind when the day is mentioned is peace.
He commended the governor for being a man of peace and for carrying everyone along.
Oluwarohunbi said that if the country keeps failing to learn from its past, it will continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.
He commended members of the armed forces for defending the territorial integrity of the country.
The clergyman urged the federal government not to interfere with religious matters: “be sensitive to the yearnings of the people, increase the financial support being given to the families of fallen heroes and give positive consideration to the restructuring of the country”.
He commended the Federal Government on its decision to release Sambo Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore from detention, saying justice requires that people are treated with decorum.
The only Bible passage of the service was read by the state governor from the book of Sirach, chapter 44: verse 1-10.