Friday, 8 January 2016

Aregbesola wants ex-soldiers drafted into police

The Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has advocated the engagement of war veterans in special police units to combat bandits and other criminals.The governor said this in Osogbo on Thursday while launching an emblem in commemoration of the
2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

He said the veterans should not be made to regret serving their fatherland, adding that remembering them once in a year was not good enough.

The governor said there were diverse ways veterans could be engaged productively because most of them had acquired skills in many vocations that could be deployed in nation building.

Aregbesola added, “Those of them with combat experience can be re-programmed and put in special police units needed to engage armed bandits and other violent criminals in our urban centres. They will be glad to resume their defence duties in civilian capacities.

“It is also important that we review our philosophy of soldiering by having a productive citizen’s army. In peace time like this, a lot of our teeming but idle youths can be absorbed into the armed forces.

“Apart from giving them excellent professional training, they should also be given excellent vocational training and deployed for services where needed.”

The Deputy Commandant-General and Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Osun State, Col. Alimi Samotu (retd.), commended Aregbesola for supporting the legion since the inception of his administration.

He said the fallen heroes must be forever remembered because of the supreme sacrifices they had paid, particularly during the Nigerian Civil War.

Samotu stated, “The gallant fighters lost their lives on the battlefield without a farewell to their families and other dependants and many, who did not die, became maimed. They suffered from mental degradation and all other forms of evils of war.

“While remembering the fallen heroes today, we must, as a matter of responsibility, remember their dependants, their children, the aged and those ex-servicemen, who have been maimed in the course of defending their fatherland.”

Meanwhile, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has assured retired military officers of his government’s commitment to their welfare.

Lalong, who spoke at the launch of the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Emblem Appeal Week, donated N2m to the legionnaires.

The governor donated N1.5m on behalf of the state government and N.5m on behalf of himself and his family.

He said, “The annual celebration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a moment for a sober reflection because it calls to memory the sacrifices of our heroes past and places a charge on each and every one of us to, out of conviction, loyalty and patriotism, be more determined than ever to preserve the unity of our nation.”

Lalong commended the sacrifices which the armed forces made for the purpose of sustaining peace and preserving the unity of the country in particular and the world at large.

“Indeed, the tree of liberty that bestrides our nation was watered by their blood, and the deprivation all their loved ones suffered as they laid their lives and lost the pleasure of their families in the defence of the dignity of our nation,” he added.

The governor, who noted that there could be no sacrifice greater than this, called on all men and women of goodwill to support the legionnaires in their retirement.

He added, “Finally, I wish to assure legionnaires in Plateau State that the APC government in the state is a people-oriented government, committed to their welfare and the well-being of all the citizens in the state.”


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