Friday, February 13, 2015 9:38 am
Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has appealed to Nigerians to support and encourage the country’s military in the fight against insurgents, noting that, the war against Boko Haram is strange to Nigeria.
Obanikoro, who is also the Patron of Support our Troops Foundation, an NGO, said this on Thursday when the foundation presented some items to troops of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army.
He said the troops, currently fighting in the North-East, needed all the encouragement in the world to perform optimally, adding that anything short of that was unacceptable.
“We are in a state of war, it is not a conventional war, it is a war that is strange to us, and it is a war that the boundary is not drawn.
“It is a war that for the first time in the history of our nation, we had to struggle and learn from it with a view to putting it behind us, beyond the fact that we are at war,” he said.
Obanikoro said that aside the operation in the North-East, the military was equally engaged in other security activities in the country and beyond.
He said that the nation was very proud of the records set by the military and what they were doing for the country while the foundation’s initiative was to encourage and strengthen them.
The patron said that the essence of the foundation’s initiative was to also to let the military know that they were not alone in the fight.
“And for our society, it is a way of introducing a culture of showing respect, recognition and identifying with our military men and women in uniform.
“I don’t know of any service that anybody can give to a nation that is bigger or higher than being willing to pay the supreme sacrifice in the service to humanity and in the service to a nation.
“I salute you; I salute your courage and this is my own way of identifying with what you are doing, the former minister said.
Obanikoro applauded the effort of the founder of the initiative,adding that the effort was a very laudable one.
According to him, the initiative should be commended by all, particularly when a section of our society that is doing everything humanly possible to reduce or discredit the activities of our men and women in uniform.
On his part, Maj-.Gen. Barry Ndiomu, Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, said the gesture of the Support Our Troops Foundation was appreciated by the Army Authority.
Ndiomu said that the army was highly honoured by the gesture of giving so much to the troops in recognition of the enormous sacrifices they were making in the operations in the north- east.
“There is no doubt in our minds that this very kind gesture of yours is very much appreciated by the officers and soldiers. And this will go a long way to boost the morale of our soldiers who are out there in the North-East.
“I hope that other citizens of Nigeria will tow this line and appreciate the efforts and enormous sacrifices being made by our officers and soldiers out there in the field,” he said.
Ndiomu, assured the foundation that the materials would be handed over to the troops.
Earlier, Mrs Fummi Ogbue , Founder of the foundation, said the gesture was to recognise the sacrifices the military was making to keep the nation one.
Ogbue said the sacrifice the military was making could not be quantified, while the donation was a way of saying thank you to the troops for their bravery and sacrifice.
Ogbue, however, appealed to Nigerians to support the foundation in its quest to encourage the troops currently fighting in the North-East.
NAN reports that items presented by the Foundation are: branded t-shirts with inscription “the Nigerian Hero, slippers, provisions and foodstuff, amongst others.