The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has urged the Federal Government not to abandon its responsibility of catering to the welfare of men and officers of security agencies to the states.
Speaking at the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day emblem appeal fund launch at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, Wike said state governments were only required to provide necessary support.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said his administration would not relent in its support to men and officers of the Nigerian military, who were fighting tirelessly to keep the country united at great cost of their lives.
He noted that though January 15 of every year was the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, the Emblem appeal fund launch was organised earlier to raise money to support the Nigerian legionnaires.
“What we are merely doing is to support. What is the Federal Government doing for you? So, everything should not be left in the hands of the state,” he stated.
Wike, in his reaction to the request for the provision of a secretariat for the Nigerian Legion, wondered what the leadership of the legion was doing with the monetary support it received each year.
He said the Rivers State Government had in the last six year on his watch had been donating not less than N150m to the organisation annually, and if the resources were well managed, it would have been able to provide a secretariat without going hand in cap to the government.
If you check for the six years, I’ve launched this emblem with not less than N20m in every year. And check each January 15th, I have given you not less than N150m. So, when you calculate, you can have your own secretariat,” Wike stated.
The governor urged the Federal Government not to abdicate its responsibility to fend for security agencies to the states.
The military is under the Federal Government; the police are under the Federal Government. So, don’t shift responsibility of the Federal Government to the states. What we are merely doing is to support,” he added.
The Rivers State Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Justice Chichi, said patriotic citizens were gathered to consider how to continue ameliorating the challenges confronting legionnaires.
According to him, some of the war veterans have been living with hurts and others have died while fighting to keep the flag of freedom flying.
He urged Nigerians to spend the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in sober reflection on those sacrifices and renew commitment to the welfare of the veterans, widows and dependents of the fallen heroes.