Citizens honour the patriotism and sacrifice of our heroes
12 November 2016
Today we are gathered on this special event to honour and celebrate the patriotism and service of men and women who laid down their lives in order to keep us safe and protected. This comes 9 weeks ahead of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day on 15 January 2017, but it has become important for us to pause and hold this special event in appreciation.
For us paying such honour and highlighting issues that pertain to our heroes is not new. Right at the beginning of our movement on 30 April 2014, our ‘Citizens’ Solutions to End Terrorism’ first produced in May 2014 highlighted these issues. The first point deals with Placing Citizens As Key Actors in the War Against Terror. However, the next and very key point emphasises that ‘. . . citizens want to be assured that the welfare of our troops is given utmost priority by the government and military leadership.’ Specifically, we canvassed for a comprehensive welfare package that includes but not limited to the following:
(A) Payment of allowances and adequate feeding of soldiers on duty
(B) Premium life insurance cover
(C) Adequate compensation for the families of those who die in the line of duty
(D) Adequate care and support for those who sustain injury in the line of duty
(E) Adequate reward for gallantry, etc.
We have always amplified these message since then up till date.
In our 8 March 2015 report, the then President, Commander-in-Chief, and the Chief of Defence Staff visited the troops at the trotlines. While commending them we emphasised the above points, and have continued to do so.
In December 2015, we wrote to the President to use his prerogative of mercy to grant a presidential pardon to the our officers and men first sentenced to death and then to life imprisonment for refusing orders to fight without arms. Time has revealed that indeed, they had no arms to fight and did not disobey orders out of mutiny. On 29 December 2015 we met with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to advocate for them, and to request the AGF to uses his good offices to persuade the president to grant the pardon.
In virtually all our reports and addresses we express our support for our troops and send our solidarity messages and appreciation to them and their families. As we also ensured to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day in 2015 and 2016.
Today is not any different. Here with us today are families, friends, and colleagues of our heroes gone. We want you to know that Nigerians, and the world celebrates you. You are never alone.
Ours is a demonstration of our commitment this. We are with you. Your loved ones did not serve and die for their country in vain. This we will ensure.
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls