Mr. Hilary Bisong, a member of the Cross River House of Assembly, has called on the Federal Government to improve the welfare for families of slain soldiers who lost their lives while in active service.
Bisong, who represents Boki II State Constituency in the Assembly, made the call on Wednesday in Calabar in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria during the occasion of the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
He said that one of the ways to remember the committed service of the slain soldiers was to improve the welfare of their families through improved monetary packages and timely payment of their benefits.
The lawmaker lauded the Armed Forces for their role in defending the territorial integrity of the nation and called for prayers for personnel currently in troubled areas in the North East for peacekeeping.
“When a soldier dies in the line of duty, it is the responsibility of the government to provide succor for his family and improve their welfare.
“In the past decade, Nigeria had faced myriads of security challenges and this has threatened the peace of the nation.
“We can restore this peace by bringing progress back to the people through improved welfare and funding for our security personnel including training and provision of modern equipment to aid their operations.
“As a nation, we should make it a priority to fund security. How do you expect a soldier to give his all when the weapon he is carrying is not commiserated to that of the insurgents or militants he is confronting?”
He, however, said that there was no better time for the government to be committed to the adequate funding of security and defense than now.
“The constitution states clearly that the primary responsibility of the government is to provide security and welfare for the citizens.
“When the soldiers are not adequately provided and cared for; their morale of securing the nation will be lowered.
“The recruitment into the military should not be broken down into ethnicity or tribe, it should be based on a quota system and this should bring in unity into the country,” he said.
He also called on the Federal Government to place insurance on the lives of the soldiers in order to give them the morale and zeal to give in their best at the moment of crisis and challenges.
“One of the ways to care about the Armed Forces in Nigeria is to place a premium on their lives. This will even secure their families in case of death.
“Let us copy the system of Americans where the soldiers are all been insured and that is why they can give up their lives to secure their country and are ready to die as war heroes.