Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable even as he commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for their defence of democracy. The governor, who stated this yesterday at the grand finale of the Armed Force Remembrance Day celebration in Benin City, said: “Presidents will come and go, governors will come and go, but the Nigeria nation will remain forever. On this occasion, it is important that we pledge our continued commitment to the indivisibility of Nigeria. I am unrepentant in my conviction that the unity of this country is non-negotiable.
“We can talk on how to grow the economy, we can talk on the best time to create jobs, we can lament what we have not done right, but we cannot discuss whether Nigeria is a reality. On this occasion, which coincides with the celebration of Nigeria’s centenary, I think all Nigerians should use this opportunity to recognize that people died to keep Nigeria one.
“I want to acknowledge my appreciation for the support and commitment of our officers and men in uniform. Our officers and men are doing everything possible across the country to ensure that the rest of us are able to sleep with our eyes closed.
“In Edo State, the Armed Forces have been a pillar of support in the provision of security in ensuring that violent criminals are put in check and Edo State is no longer safe for criminals. It is important that on occasions like this, we remember those who have paid the supreme price in Edo State in the cause of combing the bushes and forests and going after those criminals who have tried to make Nigeria ungovernable,” he said.
Oshiomhole said it was appropriate to salute the efforts and commitment of the Nigerian Armed Forces in combating the incidence of terrorism which, five or six years ago, many would have sworn that there would never be such a thing in Nigeria.
“As we speak, many officers and men are engaging terrorists to give them a check and to make Nigeria safe. In the process, many have paid the supreme price. I want to assure officers and men that the people of Edo State recognize your contributions, your defence of democracy. You have become one of the strongest pillars of democracy, subordinating yourself to civil authority.
“In spite of all the weaknesses of the political class, you have remained apolitical and you have put Nigeria over and above any other consideration. By your conduct, by both your officers and men, you have shown that you know the difference between the Nigerian nation and the interest of any political party. It is important to remind ourselves that this country is greater than any individual,” the Governor stated.
In his remarks, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Colonel Osawaru Awanbor (retd) commended the governor, saying: “We the members of the Legion are proud to associate with you, because you are a person who has human feelings.”