By Sumaila Ogbaje
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), God Bless Nigeria Group, has solicited for public support for the Armed Forces of Nigeria following the unfortunate death of the former Chief of Army Staff and 10 officers recently.
The former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Late Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers died in a plane crash on May 21, in Kaduna.
The group made the call while presenting a letter of appreciation to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, at the second edition of its Military Appreciation Day on Friday in Abuja.
The Spokesperson for the group, Mr Eric Ogolo, said that the rally was convened to express their profound gratitude for the sacrifices, contributions strength and commitment that the military had continued to display in defence of Nigeria.
Ogolo said that the group condoled with the Nigerian military over the tragic death of the late COAS and other military officers, saying that they gave their lives in the line of duty and patriotic service to the nation.
He said that the late COAS was patriotic in the fight against insurgency within the short period he served the nation.
According to him, Nigerians followed with keen interest tremendous progress and notable achievement he was recording in the fight against insurgency, kidnappings, and banditry.
“We will ever remember him for his bravery, commitment and determination in quest for a better and secure Nigeria.
“We must honor the good works of our Fallen Heroes, as well as the patience and sacrifices of their families.
“We must remain worthy of their sacrifice—forever committed to the country they loved and died for,” he said.
Ogolo said that the armed forces were not only the pride of Nigerians but also their super-heroes, saviours from all hostile enemies, both external and internal.
He said that the military had continued to display gallantry in support of civil authority, especially the police and other security agencies to ensure internal peace and security.
According to him, the rescue of about 101 abducted female students at Dapchi, in Yobe, together with several women and children from Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists and rescue of over 300 students abducted from a boys’ public school in Katsina, amongst others is commendable.
“We commend the Nigerian Airforce for providing strategic airlifts, air interdictions, surveillance, logistic supplies for the Armed Forces.
“However, there is a need for synergies among the services as one body and a lot of work has to be done regarding the insecurity in the country.
“While we understand that war requires patience and discipline, the promise of ending terrorism must be realised,” he said.
Ogolo called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), operating in the North-east to desist from compromising national security and war efforts against terrorism.
He also called on Nigerians to shun divisive actions, comments that could jeopardize the unity and progress of the nation and support the military in its bid to stamp out insurgency, banditry and other crimes.
The spokesperson also commended the former service chiefs for their dedication to the safety and security of Nigeria.
He congratulated the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, saying his appointment would bring new hope, commitment and renewed energy to the Nigerian army.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, who received the group on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, commended the group for their patriotism.
Nwachukwu assured them of the commitment of the military to put an end to all the security challenges bedeviling the country.
He said the military had engaged in internal security operations across the country including the counter-insurgency, anti-banditry and kidnapping, anti-oil bunkering and secessionist agitation.
“We want to thank you for the support that you have given to our men who are in the field in the various theatres of operation who are paying the supreme sacrifice on a daily basis so that we can have peace in our country.
“I want to thank the God Bless Nigeria Group for their thoughtfulness by this much-needed moral support by the armed forces.
“Let me also use this opportunity on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff to assure Nigerians that we will not rest on oars until we bring the adversaries to their knees,” he said. (NAN)