Yenagoa — Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has asserted that the Armed Forces are the foremost guarantors and protectors of Nigeria's democracy and constitutional order.
He made the assertion on Friday during the wreath-laying ceremony of the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the Peace Park, Yenagoa.
Dickson said the Armed Forces had been at the vanguard of protecting the nation's democracy since 1999.
He stressed that they had contributed enormously to forming the character of the nation.
"Our gratitude to men and women in uniform must be restated at all times because for us the military remains the foremost and the most important guarantor of the nation's constitutional order.
"That is one area the military has excelled. For the past 16 years, the country has been on the move toward democracy and the military has been at the forefront of protecting that democratic order", he said.
He commended the officers and men of the Armed Forces for safeguarding the nation's democratic rule and defending its territorial integrity.
He also lauded the sacrifices they had made particularly in fighting insurgency in the North East and other parts of the country.
While paying tributes to the departed and serving heroes, Dickson described their profession as a unique calling as they pay the supreme price in the course of serving their fatherland and contributing to national greatness.
He urged members of the public to also remember the families left behind by the fallen heroes.
The governor also stated that the event which was marked 15 January of every year offered opportunity to government at all levels and people of goodwill to render assistance to the departed heroes.
Highlight of the ceremony was the laying of wreaths at the tomb of the "Unknown Soldier" at the Peace Park by Governor Dickson, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson, representative of the state Chief Judge, Justice Margaret Akpomiemie as well as service chiefs.
A minute silence was also observed and gun salutes fired in honour of the departed heroes.
Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, Alfred Diete Spiff, representative of widow of fallen heroes, Bekere Zuokumo and chairman of the state Legionnaires, Effiong Igirgi also laid wreaths at the cenotaph.