Boko Haram: Pray for soldiers, Jonathan urges Nigerians

President Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians to be steadfast in their prayers for members of the Armed Forces and their families for their sacrifices in the war on terrorism.

He made the call on Sunday in Abuja at an inter-denominational church service held at the National Christian Centre to mark the 2015 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

The president said the Armed Forces and other security services deserved the prayers and commendations of Nigerians for laying down their lives to defend the country’s unity and territorial integrity.

He described members of the armed forces as “gallant people’’ working hard day and night with other security agencies to ensure that Nigerians sleep at night.

“Let me call on all Nigerians to continue to pray for the armed forces, their families and their wives because it is not easy to be wife of a soldier especially when he is posted to a state like Borno.

“We know what they are passing through; they need our prayers; we have to commend, encourage and support them,’’ he said.

The president noted that the security challenges facing the country could have been worse but for the gallantry and commitment of the armed forces in the fight against the insurgency.

While acknowledging the “inadequacies” in the military, the president restated the commitment of government to continue to kit and equip them to protect the citizens.

Mr. Jonathan pledged that his administration would continue to invest in the welfare of military personnel and their families through programmes like the recently launched “Victim Support Fund.”

Earlier in his sermon, Samuel Uche, the Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, lauded the Armed Forces for their patriotism in the defence of Nigeria and some countries in Africa.

He acknowledged the heroism shown by the military during the first and second world wars, the Nigerian Civil War, peace operations in Africa and the current war on terrorism.

The cleric attributed the difficulties faced by the military in the war against insurgency to the activities of saboteurs in the military and the political class.

He said: “Arresting the menace of Boko Haram is proving difficult because of the many disgruntled elements who are involved.

The prelate urged the federal government to provide the military with equipment, welfare packages and all they needed to effectively prosecute the war on terror.

He warned politicians not to heat up the polity in their quest to wrestle for power in the forthcoming general elections.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is an annual event organised by the Ministry of Defence to honour the nation’s fallen heroes who laid down their lives in the defence of the nation.

The event is also used to honour veterans who are alive and solicit financial support for their well-being and the families of the fallen heroes.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Appreciating the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

(NAN)


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