Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on all levels of government in the country to set up an endowment fund to cater to the welfare of families of fallen heroes.
Senator Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo made the call on Monday at this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Wreath Laying ceremony at the Peace Park in Yenagoa.
The governor said the call has become imperative in view of the harrowing experiences being faced by widows, widowers and families of officers and men whose lives were cut short in the course of fighting for the peace and security of the country.
According to Senator Diri, the singular event of celebrating the armed forces and remembering the departed heroes on January 15 every year is not enough to assuage the plight of the families left behind to face the vagaries of life.
His words: “This Remembrance does not really assuage the sufferings of families of slain heroes in the line of duty. After the celebrations what will happen to the widows or widower who have laid down their lives for the country. We will not remember them again until next year, 15th January 2025.
“In my opinion, there should be an endowment fund set up for the fallen heroes so that their families can benefit after they are dead. So creating a special fund for the fallen heroes will be the right thing to do and a positive step to motivate our armed forces.”
The Bayelsa helmsman, who stressed the need to award automatic scholarship for children of slain heroes, equally advocated that deserving officers and men of the Armed Forces should be considered for national honours to motivate them for more patriotic service to the nation.
Senator Diri used the opportunity to appreciate the gallant efforts of all the security agencies as well as exhibiting a high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties particularly during last year’s off cycle November 11 governorship election in the state.
He also applauded them for their contributions and sacrifices made to ensuring national peace and unity across the country especially in the North-West, North-East and South-East in the fight against insurgency, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the country.
Diri noted that Bayelsa has been adjudged as one of the safest states in the country due to the relentless collective efforts of security agencies in the state, assuring that the state government would continue to do everything possible within available resources to support them carry out their operations effectively.
Highpoint of the celebrations was the laying of wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldier by Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who represented Governor Diri, the Speaker, State House of Assembly, represented by the Majority Leader, Rt. Hon. Monday Obolo Bubou, Chief Judge, Justice Matilda Ayemieye, service commanders including the Commissioner of Police, CP Francis Idu.
Others include, representative of the widows of the fallen heroes, Mrs Bokizibe Enoch Gbavieme and Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Bayelsa State Council, Elder Ogele Okubokekeme.
Also, a minute silence was observed as well as firing of 21 gunshots to honour the memories of the fallen heroes.
Mr. Doubara Atasi
Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media