Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Musiliu Obanikoro: Supporting Nigerian Troops Is Every Citizen’s Duty

Musiliu Obanikoro: Supporting Nigerian Troops Is Every Citizen’s Duty
Senator Obanikoro
by Musiliu Obanikoro The sacrifice of our troops in their efforts to protect and defend the territorial integrity of our nation is a commitment to the service of Nigeria that no honour and support can be too much to show our appreciation for their efforts. These are men and women who are ready and willing to embrace all forms of discomfort and difficulties and above all, pay the supreme price for their fatherland. This indeed is the hallmark of service. On behalf of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the good people of Nigeria, I say thank you for serving.

We are well aware that we can never thank our troops enough. We can never support our gallant men and women of the Nigerian armed forces enough. Our words of appreciation may not restore broken limbs, rekindle shattered dreams or bring back the lives that we have lost to the service of our country, but we will not waste the opportunity and responsibility of saying a kind word, making a noble gesture and an expression of faith and hope in the great service that these men and women have rendered in the past and have continued to render to this nation. This is why I commend the Support Our Troops Foundation and enjoin all patriotic Nigerian citizens to join the campaign trail and become ambassadors of this worthy initiative.
ALSO READ: #VictoryForNigeria: Join The Campaign, Encourage Our Soldiers Win The War Against Insurgency
Several times, I have met people who have asked me; “Honourable Minister, you keep saying we should support our troops. How can I as an ordinary citizen support our troops?” My answer to them is simple and straight from the heart. There are no ordinary citizens. Every Nigerian citizen carries the power and civic responsibility of supporting Nigeria to become the nation of our dreams. At a time like this when we are faced with the challenge of fighting terrorism, our civic duty as citizens becomes even more imperative.
As a Government, under the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, we have an institutional role to play and we will continue to play that role to motivate, inspire and equip our troops with all they need to become a 21st century army capable of dealing with our national security challenges.
But as a Nigerian citizen, you have a part to play. You can say a word of appreciation to our troops today. You can say a word of prayer for them. You can help them with information. Your expression of faith in their ability to defeat our common enemy is a morale booster that only you can provide. Those of us active in the social media, do not talk down or ridicule the great efforts that our troops are making to protect and defend our country even at the risk of their own lives. And whenever you see a military officer, never underestimate the power of these kind words: “Thank you for serving!”
I have always said that the war against terrorism is not a war that should be left in the hands of our Government or our troops alone. I say this with the knowledge that beyond the efforts of our troops on ground, counter-insurgency is the art of mobilizing and winning public support. With this kind of public support exemplified by today’s launch of the Support Our Troops Foundation, it is my hope that we can build on the public advocacy framework provided by the Support Our Troops initiative to create an enduring legacy for pro military advocacy, welfare and reforms.   God bless the Nigerian Armed Forces!
Mr. Obanikoro is minister of state in the Ministry of Defence and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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