From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
Governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday charged the Federal Government to create an effective system in ensuring successful rehabilitation and easy re-integration of discharged members of armed forces. He also urged Nigerians to take a cue from those who have sacrificed their lives for the country and work for the peaceful co-existence of the country.
Speaking at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony and Laying of Wreath in honour of fallen soldiers, held at the Cenotaph Site, Ayetoro, Osogbo, Osun State, southwest Nigeria, Governor Aregbesola noted that mere retirement from service by members of Armed Forces should not be seen as erosion of dignity of these officers thus charging the retired members of Armed Forces to rededicate themselves in the project of building a Nigeria where peace reign supreme.
“The Federal Government needs to come up with an effective system that will ensure the successful rehabilitation and easy reintegration of discharged members of the Armed Forces into the civil society. Retirement from this area of service should not serve as the beginning of the erosion of the human dignity of these officers”, Aregbesola averred.
According to him “we must all participate in realising this dream. We must not succumb to the debilitating powers of hopelessness. Let us take a cue from those who have lost their lives for the country – they were hopeful that better days would come for Nigeria, otherwise they would not have ventured to fight to the death. We must draw inspiration from this kind of mind-set. The rising resignation on the part of many compatriots with respect to the present multi-layered woes of the country is not in the least helpful”.
The Governor said that since there are two sides to a coin, the discharged officers must as well make sure that their conducts in retirement do not undermine military honour and integrity adding that they must endeavour to put their specialised skills and training to the service of society in meaningful ways.
“Doubtlessly, the Nigerian Project as it stands, is fraught with many formidable challenges. But these difficulties should not make us irredeemably pessimistic. We all have a duty to engage, with positively strong minds, the troubles of our land and never give up until we have the right solutions. I am in no doubt at all that if we genuinely keep trying, we shall surely overcome.
“The sacrifices of those brave souls should always serve as a challenging reminder of the patriotism, selflessness, and commitment we are all expected to demonstrate at the various levels of our human undertakings, particularly to our country, Nigeria. And this, in my candid view, is one of the most sensible ways to make meaning of every January 15. We will be confined to a meaningless remembrance of this day if as a people we speak highly of the fallen officers’ courage and enviable sense of responsibility without any remarkable efforts on our part to reflect those nation-building virtues in our daily affairs.
“In honouring the memory of the dead defenders of our territorial integrity, we should also probe our minds in order to figure out how much we are doing individually and collectively to increasingly make Nigeria a better place. We should ask, for example, do my actions contribute to the progress of the country? Is there any way that I am threatening the peace and unity of the land? Am I faithful in my civic responsibilities? What roles am I playing in the dire quest to make this country attain the height of enduring development? These posers and many more are fitting on occasions like todays if indeed we value the sacrifices of the departed men and women of our armed services.
“I should like to ask my compatriots to rededicate themselves to the project of building a Nigeria where peace reigns supreme; a Nigeria that is free of the cankers of poverty and unemployment; a Nigeria that is devoid of self-centredness and ethnic chauvinism; and a Nigeria where genuine democracy is assured.
“We must avoid turning Nigeria to a country which does not appreciate the positive contributions of its own citizens. As governments and individuals, we must respond positively to the noble undertakings of officers and men of our armed services. To that end the families of the departed officers must not be left in the lurch. We must do all that we can to help their conditions,” Aregbesola concluded.