*We must at every opportunity insist that every great multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation has through thick and thin, fought to realize the great dividends of diversity and pluralism.
REMARKS OF HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT, THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, DELIVERED BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION, MR. BOSS MUSTAPHA, AT THE INTERDENOMINATIONAL CHURCH SERVICE FOR 2021 ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY CELEBRATION HELD AT THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTRE ON SUNDAY, 10TH JANUARY 2021
We are gathered once more to honour the memories of the men and women of our Armed Forces who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
Drawn from all across the country, these brave men and women of the Armed Forces have made our nation proud and their lives show us what it means to be patriots. Each one of them reminds us of the timeless words of our national pledge: “to be faithful, loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all our strength, to defend her unity and uphold her honour and glory.”
It is to the memories of these heroes and heroines who fought to preserve the freedom of the nations of the world from totalitarianism in the First and Second World Wars; to keep our Nation and its people as one in the Civil War; who laid down their lives in peacekeeping operations on the continent and elsewhere; who paid the ultimate price in the fight against the mindless terrorism in the North East and in defending this land from other threats to security, that we pledge in the words of our National anthem that “the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain.”
That promise that their blood, spilled on the field of battle, will not be wasted, is the burden that we, the living, bear. And it is an onerous one indeed.
It means that we must commit to ensuring the unity of our nation, that regardless of the tensions on account of differences in politics, religion and ethnicity, we are stronger together than apart.
We must at every opportunity insist that every great multi-ethnic, and multi-religious nation has through thick and thin, fought to realize the great dividends of diversity and pluralism. And that the struggle to ensure a more perfect federation, is a lifelong enterprise to which each generation must resolutely commit.
And speaking of generations, we should be greatly encouraged and proud of the continuing commitment of our young men and women to serving in the Armed Forces. We remember for instance, Ms.Tolulope Arotile, who made history in October 2019, when she was winged as Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot in the 55 years of existence of the Nigerian Air Force.
According to a statement by the Nigerian Air Force then, as of October 2019, Tolulope had acquired 460 hours (about 19 days) of flight within 14 months in flying a helicopter.
Although her young life was cut short in very unfortunate circumstances, Tolulope lived her dream to join the Nigerian military and along with colleagues from all parts of this nation, to defend the territorial integrity, peace and security of this nation.
This occasion is also one where we celebrate, honour and pray for the families, relations and loved ones of our fallen heroes, those who daily bear the pain and deprivation of their absence.
On behalf of Mr. President and the Federal Government, we once again extend our sincere condolences to you one and all. We pray that the Lord will comfort you and uphold you daily in Jesus name.
God bless the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God bless you all.
Thank you for listening.