Governor Rochas Okorocha has urged Nigerians to ensure that the 2019 election is hitch-free in honour of the fallen heroes, and also called on those contesting the election to shun violence whether they win or lose since they are all Nigerians and we are all here to make the nation great.
The governor made the speech after laying wreath of the unknown soldier at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at the Heroe’s Square, Owerri, Stating that great nations are built by heroes especially men and women who chose the way of sacrifice to their nation and not built by wealthy men.
His words “We are here to salute courage, and patriotic devotion. We are here to celebrate Heroes who decided to give up their lives that their nation might be honoured. We are here to encourage heroism in our nation. Today, we are gathered not because these soldiers of gallant men and women had fallen, not because they joined the army or armed forces, we are here gathered because at the end of their sojourn on earth, they became heroes worthy of celebration. They gave up their lives to protect the integrity and peace of our nation”.
According to him “Heroes are those men who when given an option of life and honour will prefer to lose their lives to be honoured later. Great nations are built by Heroes and not by wealthy men. Nations are built by men and women who chose the way of service to their nation. A great nation starts from that same spirit which is full of sacrifice. Greatness of a nation depends on the willingness of the citizens of that nation and their leaders to make sacrifices where necessary”.
The governor stated “To the widows and widowers of these great men and women, may I use this opportunity to encourage our nation that as we celebrate our heroes who are no more, may we equally find a space to celebrate these widows because the pains of death is not necessary. We must not only celebrate our heroes gone but we must remember their loved ones and show them as much love as we can. This is what we owe to our fallen heroes”.
He continued “Let me also commend the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for the show of leadership especially in what is happening in the North-East. I say to all Nigerians who care to know that we must thank God in the situation we find ourselves now, it could have been worst”.
The governor noted “Today, we may not have had Nigeria anymore, if such leadership was not dramatized and demonstrated in the North-East. While I salute President Buhari for his courageous move in the fight against insurgency, let me salute those without ranks, the recruits in Sambisa forest fighting for their father’s land. We commend and salute you for this sacrifice and efforts in defending the territorial integrity of our dear nation”.
Part of the event was the release of three buses to three widows who won the balloting to that effect last Sunday. The governor had also released the N5 million he promised the State Chapter of the Nigerian Legion. A soldier who fainted at the event was described by the governor as the hero of the day’s ceremony and also got Two Hundred Thousand Naira on the spot, among other gifts to the widows of the fallen heroes.