Friday, 15 January 2016

AN ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF WILLIE OBIANO TO MARK THE 2016 ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY ON FRIDAY JANUARY 15, 2016.

 
AN ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF WILLIE OBIANO TO MARK THE 2016 ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY ON FRIDAY JANUARY 15, 2016.


Fellow citizens, today is an important day in our national history. It is a day when we look beyond the divisive gulfs that stand in the way of our national unity and reflect on the ties that bind us to one another.
Ndi Anambra, since the dawn of political independence, the Nigerian Armed Forces have proved to be the Noah’...s Ark of our national unity; saving us from the endless storms that test our resolve to stand together as one, indivisible entity. This has often come at a great price. It was in tribute to this supreme sacrifice that Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s Founding Fathers, once observed that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots.”
Fellow compatriots, our national unity, and the freedoms it confers on us are preserved by the blood of brave men and women who pay the supreme price on a daily basis to preserve them. Time and time again, History reminds us that for every story of great nationhood there is an intimidating narrative of wars, conflicts and bravery. The Nigerian experience follows this same trajectory. Our service men and women have wilfully laid down their lives for a better Nigeria, a better Africa and a better world!
For the better half of the last century, our gallant service men and women have risen to the call of history to preserve our freedoms and the freedoms of our neighbours. They did it in several Peacekeeping Missions in the Congo and in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cote D’ Ivoire, Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan, Guinea Bissau and Mali.
Back home, they have held aloft the shield of liberty through three years of a horrific Civil War and pockets of internal uprisings that constantly threaten Nigeria with disintegration. Today, our armed forces are up in arms in one of the most complicated wars known to man – a war without clearly defined borders …the War on Terror!
Fellow compatriots; the war on terror is a bizarre warfare! It has defied the genius of many celebrated military strategists and made various superpowers of conventional warfare look ordinary. It is to the credit of our gallant servicemen and women that this virulent affliction has not spread beyond one region of the country.
So, as we lay our wreaths before the statue of the UNKNOWN SOLDIER across the country today, we honour their memory, their bravery and their valour. But perhaps more importantly, we acknowledge the priceless blood that they shed to nourish the tree of liberty.
It is on this note that I ask everyone in this assembly to stand up for a moment of silence in honour of our fallen heroes!

God bless Anambra State
God bless Nigeria


Willie Obiano
Governor

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