By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—VICE President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, warned against what he described as reckless utterances and actions of some Nigerians, which play on the religious and ethnic faultlines of the country to threaten its unity.
The vice president, who spoke at the interdenominational church service for the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at National Christian Centre, Abuja, said supreme sacrifice paid by the nation’s military should not be allowed to go in vain.
Speaking against the backdrop of the resurgence of attacks by the Boko Haram sect, which recently claimed the lives of several dozens of soldiers, Osinbajo said the era of the terrorists holding local government areas and hoisting their flags was gone.
He further appealed that the families of the gallant military officers who sacrificed their lives in the bid to secure the territorial integrity of the country should not be allowed to suffer.
He said: “Today again we participate in an annual tradition of remembering and honoring our departed military heroes. This particular Remembrance day is perhaps more poignant than any other.
“In the past few weeks we have buried 13 soldiers and one… and last week five air force pilots…all these men died in battle fending off Boko Haram and Isis West Africa terrorists in the North East.
‘’But in these battles, we have been sharply reminded that indeed ‘freedom is not free.’ That peace is often paid for with blood and gore. And that no nation can secure its territory without the selflessness and the supreme sacrifices of many.”
- ‘’Truly as someone said our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.
“So as we celebrate this Remembrance Day, we solemnly thank the Almighty God for giving us men and women ready to obey the call to fight and if need be die for the fatherland.”
While commending the dead soldiers for dying on line of duty, he said: “We are grateful that they were faithful to the cause, that they did not betray the trust of millions, that they gave up all the comforts of life and the love and affection of family that we may enjoy the same.
“Our posthumous thanks to them and their families who not only bore the fearful apprehension of their going to war but also the heart break of their deaths.
“But our gratitude must also mean a commitment to ensuring that their families are cared for, that their children do not ask why the sacrifices they made were made at all.
“Also important is to ensure that they did not die in vain. This unity and territorial integrity of the nation for which they died must not be jeopardized by the reckless utterances and actions which play on the religious and ethnic faultlines of our nation.
“The ordinary people of Nigeria have demonstrated time and time again that they share common problems and a believe in common destiny. The desire for food, shelter, clothing and decent jobs does is unblinkered by tribe, tongue or faith. Our unity and peaceful coexistence is the best tribute to our fallen heroes.”
“I honour the bold and brave departed .and pay heartfelt tribute to their families, indeed they daily pay the supreme sacrifice by their loss, and I thank the Almighty God for our Nation, and for the men and women of honour and courage that gave all for it.”