It is customary to observe the Armed Forces Day on the 15th January every year to remember Officers and Men of the Nigerian Armed Forces who laid down their lives for the unity of our country.
Let me use this opportunity to call on Nigerians to demonstrate our appreciation of the courage of these gallant fallen heroes by appreciating their contribution and providing supports for the welfare and upkeep of the families they left behind, especially their widows and children.
At this period where our nation is faced with myriads of challenges of terrorism, communal clashes, kidnapping, cultism and gangsterism among other criminalities, we should cooperate and supports our security with relevant information and intelligence to help in tackling the problems.
AS people we should inculcate our cultural values, that promote good conduct, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. We should eschew hate speeches, discrimination and other vices that trigger senseless violence and bloodshed. We have witness so much bloodshed through communal clashes and conflicts that need urgent actions to stop them NOW.
As we entre the electioneering period, I urge our political office holders as well as politicians from all political parties to be conscious of their campaign slogans and messages by ensuring that they are geared towards peaceful participation and constructive engagements of the electorates.
I must also call on governments at all level, religious leaders, traditional rulers, social activists and the media to serve as national vanguards in resolving some of the recent disturbing incidents affecting our national security.
For the members of the armed forces and security agencies, I urge them to remain apolitical, neutral and focus on the ethics of discipline which is the hallmark of their profession.
In conclusion, I wish to once again express my condolence to the families of members of the Armed Forces who lost their lives in their effort to keep Nigeria secured in various military operations.
May their gentle souls rest in perfect peace.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida GCFR,
Former Military President & Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria
1-Uphill Drive, Minna.