By Tunde Opalana
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio has said that the President Ahmed Tinubu-led government at the centre, is focused on ensuring that Nigeria remains an inseparable and indivisible entity.
He stated this in his remarks at the Interdenominational Church Service for the 2024 Armed Forces Rememberance Day Celebration held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, on Sunday.
Akpabio, who held that the continued existence of the country lies in its rich cultural, religious and ethnic diversity, called on the people to embrace unity, stressing the resolve of the present administration to redouble its efforts in securing the country.
The number one lawmaker, paid glowing tributes to members of the armed forces who fell in the quest to make Nigeria remain one, stressing that their labour would never be in vain.
Akpabio also asked the christendom and other stakeholders in the Nigerian project to join hands with the Tinubu government as well as the nation’s armed forces to tackle the issues that have threatened the co-existence of the country.
He said, “The unity of Nigeria came at a great price. The sustenance and defence of this unity rests on the shoulders of the men and women of the Armed Forces, and the true weight of loss is carried by the families and dependents of these fallen heroes. If only we could share the pain they feel, then we would truly understand the imperative of eschewing insecurity and violence in all its forms.
“The year 2023 was an eventful one, marked by general elections and a change in leadership. Our nation is still grappling with the effects of long-overdue multisectoral reforms needed to propel us forward and position Nigeria among the great nations of the world. I urge for support to the government of His Excellency President Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, during this crucial time as we strive to achieve the Nigeria of our dreams. In this regard, I reiterate the President’s assurance that “our tough times will not last,” and we should renew our hope in a great Nigeria.
“Now is the time for all stakeholders to set aside our differences, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political affiliations, and come together to strategize on the way forward for this great nation that our gallant men and women of the Armed Forces paid, and continue to pay, the ultimate price to preserve. It is also a time for sober reflection, to take stock of past events such as the civil war, and to reflect on current challenges like the war on insurgency, incessant attacks on innocent Nigerians, the spate of kidnappings across the country. We must reflect on their causes and work together to prevent future occurrences”.
According to Akpabio, “I call upon the church to partner with the government in a much-needed rebranding of Nigeria. The church is urged to continue spreading the gospel of love for oneself, others, and our country. We must blur the lines that divide us across ethnic and religious boundaries through messages of tolerance, peace, unity, and progress.
“This administration is more determined than ever to strengthen and promote the oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria because the strength of our great nation lies in our diversity.
“Once again, let us salute the courage and appreciate the sacrifices of our men and women of the Armed Forces. Let us stand in solidarity with the families of our fallen heroes and heroines. I assure you that the government will continue to evolve policies to address the challenges you face as a result of your loss.
“The inclusion of veterans, their dependents, and caregivers into the Social Welfare Register through the Ministry of Defence is a commendable initiative of the current administration. The President, Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces is committed to implementing welfare programs within the services for the families of deceased personnel while making continuous efforts to address any remaining gaps,” the Senate President stressed further.