BENIN CITY-GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has warned politicians against unguided statements capable of undermining the unity and integrity of the country
He commended officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces for fostering the bonds of unity, asserting that the Army is still remains the only institution that unites that nation.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Military Pensioners, has appealed to the Federal Government to expedite action on the payment of the 53 per cent entitlement for ex- service men in the country.
In a statement signed by the General Secretary of the pensioners, Patrick Okpaiyo, it said the payment of the new entitlements as approved by the Federal Government in July 1st 2010, was the only "way the Armed Forces Remembrance Day could be meaningful to us".
Oshiomhole who made the remarks during the launching of the emblem appeal fund to mark the 2013 Armed Forces remembrance day celebration in Benin city said the men in uniform should be appreciated for their contribution to the indivisibility of the nation.
"The Armed Forces are doing their best to keep Nigeria one while politicians and even elders who should play up what unite us talk of things that could destroy the bridge of unity. But the men in uniform have continued to defend the indivisibility of Nigeria," he noted.
According to him, "if Nigeria has remained one united country it is because men in uniform stood on the side of the Nigeria nation. We must continue to appreciate the Armed Forces in the effort to keep Nigeria one."
Comrade Oshiomhole noted that looking at the security challenges in the country the Armed forces have a role to keep the nation secured.
"Our gratitude goes to the Nigeria Army and to Major-General Abel Umahi, the Commander of the 4 Brigade. Without your support the kidnappers would have overrun us in Edo State. You have policed the streets. Our gratitude also goes to the Airforce for monitoring the creeks with the aircraft and providing intellegence information as well as the Supply and Transport," he added.
The Governor said the average Nigerian appreciate the contribution of officers and men who sacrificed and paid the supreme price in the struggle to defend the sovereignty of the nation, adding that "we should go beyond lip service in showing how much we appreciate them."
He maintained that it should be the responsibility of the government, both at the local, state and federal levels to create opportunities for the ex-service men who are still strong to render service.
While assuring that Edo state government will continues to extend more employment opportunities to the ex- service men , the governor disclosed that , "we have already extended to the legionnaires the opportunity to put an eye on the schools we are building and they are doing well.
"This year, the state government will double the contribution which was given last year by one hundred percent to the launching of the emblem appeal fund and across the eighteen local governments the sum of N250,000 will be provided to the state chapters for the celebration of the Armed Forces remembrance day celebration," the governor disclosed.
The Chairman, Nigeria legion, Edo State, Col Osawaru Johnbull Awanbor thanked Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for creating jobs for their members noting that this year's launching of the emblem appeal week which is to honour the supreme sacrifices made by gallant heroes will be observed as a thanksgiving for the victory of the governor at the supreme court.
Other activities to celebrate the 2013 Armed forces remembrance day celebration was a parade at the museum premises and the laying of wreaths at the unknown soldier cenotaph.