The Minister of Defence, Retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, says the nation will continue to appreciate the sacrifices of fallen heroes, veterans and the serving members of the Armed Forces.
Magashi made the remark at the ministerial press briefing to mark the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at the National Defence College (NDC) auditorium on Friday in Abuja.
He recalled that armed forces Remembrance Day or ‘Veterans Day’, according to some countries, is a momentous event celebrated globally.
“It is observed in commemoration of the end of the First World War, which happened at the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month in 1918.
“The Commonwealth member countries also observe it on 11th November annually.
“For Nigeria, the date was changed to Jan. 15th annually to accommodate the remembrance of the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970,’’ the minister said.
He said that annually, the country, through the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration recognises and appreciates the sacrifices of the nation’s fallen heroes, veterans and serving members.
Magashi said that it was based on their sacrifices that the Veteran Affairs Division of the Ministry of Defence dedicated a desk for the widows of the fallen heroes.
To further appreciate their sacrifices, he said that the Military Pensions Board had continue to deliver on regular payment of pensions to eligible retired members of the armed forces. “Periodic verification exercises are carried out by the board to eliminate sharp practices.’’
The minister also said that the Defence Health Insurance Scheme was established under the auspices of Defence Health Maintenance Ltd., to continue to provide health insurance service for veterans, fallen heroes’ widows and their eligible dependants. “Offices have been established in 16 states of the federation for effective and efficient service delivery.
“The Federal Government, through the ministry of defence, has continued to pay the Group Life Assurance to the next of kin of deceased personnel of the armed forces.
“The ministry of defence made a public presentation of cheques to 184 Next-of-Kin of some deceased officers and men of the Armed Forces under the 2018/2019 Scheme of the group life assurance programme on Feb. 18,’’ he said. Magashi promised that his ministry would continue to ensure that all the armed forces personnel were provided insurance cover under the scheme at all times.
He said that all the efforts were geared toward making sure that the sacrifices of the nation’s past and present military personnel did not go in vain.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the activities lined up for the celebration are Nigeria Legion Humanitarian Day, Emblem launch by the President and religious services.
The wreath-laying will be performed by Mr President and other dignitaries at the National Cenotaph, Abuja and governors in their respective states on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.