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Otti Urges Nigerians To Impact Armed Forces With Programs

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Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has urged charitable individuals, corporate entities, and community leaders to spearhead initiatives supporting the Armed Forces. 

He emphasized the importance of recognizing and appreciating the sacrifices made by the military to foster peace and restore order both nationally and internationally.

Otti delivered this call to action during the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day observance, taking place at the Aguiyi Ironsi Cenotaph in Ogurube Layout, Umuahia.

In a pointed statement, he highlighted the critical need for an upgraded welfare structure for the Armed Forces, recognizing their supreme sacrifices in the pursuit of national peace and unity.

Pointing out the indispensable role security agencies play in economic and social advancement, the governor advocated for a strategic shift towards offering increased support for military personnel, including both those actively serving and veterans.

Expressing regret, Otti acknowledged that the welfare of the Armed Forces personnel had not received the adequate attention it deserves.

He emphasized that prioritizing their welfare is crucial and should align with the significant sacrifices they make during their service and post-service years.

He said: ‘As a nation, we should be thankful that our servicemen and women, not minding the failures and willful amnesia of the political elite, have continued to stand firmly by their lifelong commitment of dedication and loyalty to fatherland that nothing, not even poor welfare conditions and reported abandonment of families of deceased colleagues, can dampen their morale.’

‘Even then, it is indeed very regrettable that the welfare of our men and women in uniform, in their service and post-service years, has not received the quality attention that is commensurate with the sacrifices they make.’

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‘The time to make a change in the way we treat our active military operatives and veterans has come. It is the least we can do for the brave individuals for whom the fear of death means nothing.’

The Abia State Chief Executive commended the contributions of the Armed Forces to the security of Abia State and pledged the continued support of his administration towards the security of the state.

He noted that their contributions to the state government have culminated in the resumption of economic and social activities in areas that had hitherto served as safe haven for men of the underworld.

‘Until the end of my tenure, the security formations, especially those operating in the state, can count on my consistent support for their welfare because our economic and social programmes would be sabotaged or fatally impaired without adequate security in all parts of the state.’

‘Beyond just supporting our men and officers in active service, we shall also work closely with the Nigerian Legion, Abia State Chapter, to support the body of veterans in our state for the good of the men and women who once served this nation with strength and devotion.’

‘We shall also not forget the families left behind by those who paid the ultimate price in service of our fatherland, defending its territorial integrity or keeping criminal elements at bay,’ Otti pledged.

Encouraging citizens, he called for a dedication to patriotism by giving priority to the nation in both actions and expressions, while also advocating for contributions towards building a society that embodies justice and equity.

Key moments from the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration encompassed Governor Otti inspecting a guard of honour, the laying of wreaths at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, special prayers, a minute of silence for fallen heroes, and the symbolic release of pigeons representing peace.

The event witnessed the presence of distinguished individuals, such as the governor’s wife, Priscilla Otti, Deputy Governor Ikechukwu Emetu and his wife, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Assembly members, the Chief Judge of the state, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, members of the state Executive Council, Service Chiefs, and members of the Nigerian Legion, among others.

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