Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said the continuous coexistence of Nigeria as a nation, was attributable to the huge contributions of ex-service men.
The governor said this at the lunch of the `emblem appeal fund’ at the 2017, Armed Forces Remembrance day celebration on Thursday, at Urhokpota Hall, King’s Square in Benin City.
Governor Obaseki, who used the occasion to appreciate the effort of the ex-servicemen, whose huge sacrifices had been responsible for the peace and unity being enjoyed today, assured them of the state government’s support.
Governor Obaseki said, “the fact that we have a country today is as a result of the effort of these great men. So we do not always take it for granted that Nigeria is what it is today because God made it so.
“Yes, God did it, but some people have sacrificed their lives to make sure this country remains united and to that, we say, we are thoroughly really grateful.
“I want to also use this opportunity to thank you for the role you played and the support you gave to the government of Edo State particularly during the election in the state last year”.
He said ; “I have listened to your request and I want to assure you that this administration would consolidate and continue to work with you.
“We must also incorporate you into our programme especially in the area of agriculture. I make a commitment to you today that we will carry you along and will ask you to participate in our out grower programme.
“I know most of you are retired but not tired. The proposal we received from you indicating that you are ready to assist us as regards the community policing, I have studied the proposal and will get back to you in a few weeks.
“In my New Year’s Day broadcast, I said, none is happy unless all are happy. We shall not compromise on assisting you especially in providing wheel chairs and artificial limbs to some of your members who need them”.
Clarifying the recent government ban on collection of revenue by non-government actors, Gov. Obaseki said the government discovered that the activities were negatively affecting government, particularly local government in paying their subvention.
“The fact that the local government is not able to pay the subvention that is required, is partly caused by the activities of people who collect revenue that are supposed to go to the government, particularly the local government and those revenues never get to the local government.
“With this step we have taken and with your assistance to ensure that there is full compliance, I am optimistic that the local government would now begin to earn enough revenue to assist the government consolidate and develop the state”.
Earlier, the Assistant Commandant General, Nigeria Legion, Edo State Command, Osawaru Johnbull Awanbor expressed delight in this year’s lunch of the emblem appeal fund.
Awanbor described the day as very special in their lives “because it is a day set aside to celebrate and honour the fallen heroes and the families they left behind.
“The body is like Oliver twist, we continue to ask for more support from the government and concerned Nigerians for better welfare,’’ he said.
The Governor was accompanied on the occasion by the Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor.