Sanwo-Olu commends the military for keeping Nigeria together

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi and others at the event

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has commended the military for their role performance in keeping Nigeria together.

January 15, 2021 is armed forces remembrance day in Nigeria. A week to the event, every Nigeria state holds series of events to mark the day, culminating in the grand finale.

On Sunday, an Interdenominational Service held at the Chapel of Christ The Light in Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

“Our armed forces have come a long way in keeping the country together. Due to their efforts Nigerians have remained united, despite the Nigeria civil war that took place between 1967 to 1970.

“They have continued to push forward to make sure that we remain safe in the hands of bandits. If not for their efforts, a lot of bad things would had happened to the country,” says Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“We are using today to recognise and appreciate them so that they would put in more efforts in keeping the state safe,” Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Special Adviser, Parastatals Monitoring Office, Afolabi Ayantayo adds.

Anofiu Elegushi, Commissioner for Home Affairs sees the armed forces as pivotal in the defence of the nation.

“The state owes you a debt of gratitude for invaluable services you have rendered in securing the nation and ensuring conducive environment for business to thrive in Lagos and the nation at large,” he says of the military.

The theme of this year’s armed forces remembrance day is “Love and Sacrifice.”

“Everything around and about God is love,” chipped in Venerable Olufeyisanjo Ojelabi, the Dean, Cathedral Church of St. Jude, Ebute Metta, who gave a sermon.

Citing John 15:13, the cleric emphasises the sacrifice made by Jesus for the salvation of mankind.

This is the kind of love he says the armed forces show for the country in the battlefields for the unity of the country.

“Are we reciprocating the love and sacrifice shown to maintain the unity of this country? “Are we paying their pension and gratuity regularly or are we paying them to regret ever going further to make the sacrifices they have made for this country?” He asks.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.