By Samuel Oyadongha – Yenagnoa
Governor Seriake Dickson made the appeal during this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration/Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Peace Park, Yenagoa.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Kemela Okara, commended the pivotal role of the men and women of the various Armed Forces in safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity.
According to him, “the 15th of January every year is earmarked to commemorate the gallantry, bravery, and valour of both serving and dead officers and men in keeping the country united, peaceful and stable through their selfless sacrifices and contributions.”
He also acknowledged the significance of this year’s ceremony in view of the fact that it marks 50 years of the end of the Nigerian civil war and peaceful co-existence of the people.
In his remarks, Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Legion, Mr. Okubokikeme Ogele said the annual event was organised to draw attention and cater to the families of the slain heroes and the general welfare of legionnaires.
Mr. Ogele who expressed appreciation to the state government for its support towards making the ceremony a success advocated the need to ensure payment of pensions to legionnaires.
Also in his contribution, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Obolo-Bubou described the military as a noble profession and encouraged Bayelsa youths to enroll in the profession to contribute their quota in the service of their fatherland.
A minute silence was observed in honour of the fallen heroes.
The highpoint of the event was the laying of wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldier by Barrister Kemela Okara, Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Obolo-Bubou and the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri.
Others include service commanders in the state as well as a representative of the widows, Mrs. Maggie Nyananyo Israel.