The Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigerian Legion has asked the Federal Government to allow them to assist in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Legion in the state, Igirigi Effiong, said this in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Saturday shortly after the passing-out parade of Batch A Cadet Officers of the Nigerian Legion Corps Commissionaires.
The retired army officer noted that amongst the legionnaires were trained security men with tactical experience, who could be used at this trying moment of the country.
Effiong said, “There are trained military officers and men of the military intelligence that can be of great importance to the security of Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.
“Give a retired soldier a conducive environment and he will perform excellently well”
Efiong however regretted that both the Federal Government and the states were not being fair to the military retirees.
The chairman complained bitterly about the non-payment of their 20 per cent salary increase arrears by the Federal Government despite the sacrifices they had made for the country.
In his address, the South-South Commandant of the Nigeria Legion Corps, Lt.-Col. Sunday Omueti (retd.), urged the Batch A cadet officers to demonstrate a high level discipline, stating that, “the uniform is not a licence for illegalities but an instrument for the destruction of insurgency across the country.”
He advised them to be courageous and assist security agencies in the fight against insecurity.
In his remarks, Commandant, NLCC, Bayelsa State, Major Chimbuo Victor, explained that the cadet officers, between the ages of 18 and above, were admitted into the Nigerian Legion as honorary members.
He said the development was in line with the Nigerian Legion Act No. 119 of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
He further explained that the membership of the legion had five categories, which are ordinary members, life members, honorary members, associate members and women auxiliary members.
He said that though they never belonged to the Nigerian Armed Forces, the cadets applied and went through relevant mandatory security training and had been admitted and given full recognition as honorary members of the Nigerian Legion as corps commissionaires.
He added that the Nigerian Legion corps commissionaires had the mandate to assist in the transformation agenda of the Federal Government in various ways.
He said the corps commissionaires during special occasion of government, provide information to security agents, maintain law and order in liaison with security operatives.
He said they also keep peace during elections, help the widows and children of fallen heroes and assist in providing employment by training and equipping youths with skills, among other functions.