Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable, while urging “Nigerians to endeavour to commit to ensuring the country’s unity, because the nation is stronger together than apart.”
Osinbajo made this appeal at the interdenominational church service to mark the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, on Sunday, January 10.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stressed the need for Nigerians to discountenance differences in religious, ethnic and political affiliations.
“Nigerians 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,” the VP said.
He also pleaded with Nigerians to see the sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces as a mark of commitment to the unity of the nation and the task of building a better society.
“The struggle to ensure a more perfect federation is a lifelong enterprise to which each generation must resolutely commit.
“Our men and women of the Armed Forces have made sacrifices, paid the ultimate price for Nigeria and many of them have laid down their lives for the country in the line of duty which is the ultimate patriotism.
“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.
“Our departed heroes and heroines of the Armed Forces 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.
“They laid down their lives in peacekeeping operations on the continent and elsewhere, 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.
“It is to the memories of these heroes and heroines 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.
“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. We pray that the Lord will comfort you and uphold you daily.”