A retired major of the Nigerian Army, and community leader, Chief Major Fredrick Nkusi Effam (JP) has called on political office holders in the country to be more committed towards improving the welfare of late, retired and present military officers in view of their services to the nation.
The community leader made the call while playing host to the old soldiers under the association of Nigerian Legion Ika South Chapter that converged at his residence after the ceremony commemorating the 2018 Arm Forces Remembrance Day which was held at the open government field in Agbor.
Chief Major Effam who was passionate in this call explained that government should always remember to show genuine appreciation to these gallant men and women who deprived themselves of so much for the nation, (Nigeria) so that their sacrifices will not be in vein.
He particularly called on the government to prioritize the welfare of both their serving and retired force personnel in view of the enormous sacrifices they rendered to sustain the peace and security of the country.
With reference to the poor welfare of the Legionnaires in Ika South, Chief Effam stated that it has been a bitter experience which of course led to the low turnout of the personnel that participate in this year’s annual ceremony.
He bemoaned the negative attitude by government and others at the corridors of power towards their welfare, pointing that even the Legion office which is in a dilapidated state was not taken into consideration by the government.
Speaking further Chief Effam asked the leaders to bear in mind that the retired military officers both late and alive have families who depend on them. “We thank the government for keeping us thus far. But let me quickly remind them that without the sacrifice we paid to win the war, majority of these leaders in government today wouldn’t be there. “However, I want you to know that a day of reckoning will come for those that are comfortable in cheating the people who gave them the privilege to rule. Mind you, nobody is going to live this life for 900 years, and if you may ask yourself, what becomes of your children when you are gone irrespective of the wealth you have gathered for yourself?”
He called for the improvement of the old soldier welfare which was supported by the Chairman of the association, Captain John Ogbegwue (Rtd). He said the call for government to extend their support to the retired and serving soldiers was vital following their pains which have become unbearable.
Commenting on the Legion office which according to him is dilapidated the Chairman was reminded that the Ika South local government council under the administration of Hon. Fred Ofume pledged to support them with N300, 000 for renovation which has not been redeemed till date.
He used the opportunity to appeal to the new executive chairman of the council, Hon. Barr Victor Okoh to give ears to their plea and join them as the association is preparing to lay the foundation stone of their new office soon.
The meeting was joined by a respected Chief of Agbor Kingdom who retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 1980 from the Liberian Arm forces, Chief Edwin Kaliku.
He made his intention known of joining the Legion here in Ika South, as he is no longer in Liberia. This he said will enable him to contribute to the development of the Legion and Ika South at large.
While appreciating the Legionnaires, Chief Kaliku implored them to always prove themselves as uniform men and support the government to train young soldiers.
He encouraged them to continually exhibit the discipline which they possessed as military men amidst their hope that things will get better someday as their children are now coming into politics.
By Marvin Enyosa