By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
VICE Presi- dent Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, called on Nigerians of all generations and from all walks of life to always endeavour to commit to ensuring Nigeria’s unity, because the nation is stronger together than being apart despite differences in religion, ethnicity, political affiliations, or other diversities.
The Vice President stated this at the Interdenominational Church Service for the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
Osinbajo, who was represented at the Church Service by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, said, Nigerians “must at every opportunity insist that every great multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation has, through thick and thin, fought to realise the great dividends of diversity and pluralism.”
He reiterated the need for Nigerians to, as a mark of honour for the sacrifices of the men and women of the Armed Forces show more commitment to the unity of the nation and the task of building a better society. Osinbajo, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said, “The struggle to ensure a more perfect federation is a lifelong enterprise to which each generation must resolutely commit.”
Paying tribute to the departed men and women of the nation’s Armed Forces, he observed that their sacrifices embody ultimate patriotism as they laid down their lives in the line of duty.
He said, “Drawn from all across the country, these brave men and women of the Armed Forces have made our nation proud and their lives show us what it means to be patriots. Each one of them reminds us of the timeless words of our national pledge: “to be faithful, loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all our strength, to defend her unity and uphold her honour and glory.” He noted that the departed heroes and heroines of the Armed Forces “fought to preserve the freedom of the nations of the world from totalitarianism in the First and Second World Wars; to keep our Nation and its people as one in the Civil War.”
Osinbajo commended members of the Armed Forces, adding that they “laid down their lives in peacekeeping operations on the continent and elsewhere, paid the ultimate price in the fight against the mindless terrorism in the North East, and in defending this land from other threats to security.
“It is to the memories of these heroes and heroines that we pledge in the words of our National anthem: that “the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain. “That promise that their blood, spilled on the field of battle, will not be wasted, is the burden that we, the living, bear. And it is an onerous one indeed.”
In his tribute to the departed members of the Armed Forces, the Vice President recalled the heroism of the late Ms Tolulope Arotile, who made history in October 2019, when she was winged as Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot in the 55 years of existence of the Nigerian Air Force.