Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has called on well-meaning individuals, charities and corporate organisations to lend support to the Nigerian legion and its members to enhance their welfare and wellbeing.
Represented by his Deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd) at the launch of the Emblem Appeal Week in Yenagoa, he urged all to donate generously, noting that, the proceeds would be judiciously utilised towards meeting the pressing needs of their families.
While expressing appreciation to the sacrifices and contributions made by the legionnaires in nation-building, he assured that, the government would continue to identify the needs and aspirations of the ex-servicemen within the limits of available resources.
Governor Dickson, who emphasized the need for Nigerians to always honour the surviving veterans and families of the fallen heroes, urged them to buy and proudly wear the Armed Forces Rememberance Ceremonial poppies for the duration of the remembrance period.
He also enjoined Nigerians to emulate the United States nationals and citizens of other developed countries, where they accord respect and recognition to legionnaires and the Armed Forces for their gallant efforts at protecting the territorial integrity of their nations.
His words: “I want to appreciate our men and women in uniform particularly our ex-servicemenand veterans who join us every year in parades and tributes to theur fallen colleagues.
“Be assured that your well-articulated concerns and appeals are as fresh in our minds and memories as the price you paid for the work you do for Bayelsa and the nation as a whole. We have heard them and we shall continue to ensure that they are addressed as resources are available.”
In his remarks, the Assistant Commandant-General and State Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Effiom Igirigi reiterated the need for private bodies and individuals to support the veterans, as their welfare in retirement cannot be guaranteed by government”s efforts alone.
He solicited assistance for the renovation of the state secretariat of the legion, reinstatement of the monthly overhead to the council and supply of new uniforms to legionnaires in the state, among other needs.
While announcing the donation of the state government, the Deputy Governor who described himself as a legionnaire made a personal donation of N500, 000.
Other individuals and institutions, which launched the Emblem Appeal Week include, the State Judiciary, Secretary to State Government, Chief of Staff Government House, Traditional Rulers’ Council and the various security commands in the state.