By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike has join the calls for change of Nigeria’s heads of security and rejigging of the nation’s security architecture as Boko Haram and bandits up north continue to overwhelm federal forces.
Wike during wreath laying and parade to mark 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, on Friday, said the time has come for Federal Government (FG) to take decisive action and end the insurgency menace.
He said, “A country is as strong as its Armed Forces. The inability to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency despite years of full military engagement shows all is not well with our approaches and commitments to the battle against internal insecurity.
“Today raises the need for all of us to be worried by the deteriorating security situation across the country and to restate the call on FG to do everything necessary to bring the threat by Boko Haram and armed bandits to a decisive end in the shortest possible time.
“We thank the Service Chiefs for their efforts so far in the battle against the insurgents. But we also align with the concern of citizens that having seemingly reached their wit end, they should now give way for fresh hands and ideas to ensure Boko Haram and killer bandits are comprehensively defeated and smoked out of existence.
“The time has come for the to stop the pretenses, change strategy, seek help from our friends and confront the urgency of the internal insecurity in Nigeria with every weaponry at FG disposal to stop the killings, free all hostages and improve physical security of our country for all Nigerians”
On the significance of the Remembrance Day, the Governor said, “On this solemn day, we join the rest of our country to honour and pay tribute to all our soldiers who died at the various battlefields in the service of our nation.
“We also salute and honour every serving member of Nigerian Armed Forces carrying on today in the noble tradition of those before them dutifully defending our nation’s territorial integrity.
“They are fighting to keep us safe and secured in the face of insurgencies from Boko Haram, Bandits and other criminal elements threatening our peace and security across the country.
“Our beloved country is still together, existing and waxing stronger as one indivisible, free, and democratic country because of your commitment and sacrifice to its unity and progress.
“As Nigerians, our collective desire is to have a country where we can all live in unity, freedom and security. A country where our children and grandchildren can live in relative comfort and strive for a brighter future.
“No recompense can adequately assuage loss of precious lives or the disabling effects of permanent bodily injuries. But we shall never cease to accord profound honour you deserve and canonise your bravery and patriotism at all times in expression of our gratitude for what you truly represent.
“As a government, we believe society must endeavour to move beyond yearly ceremonial ritual and comfort speeches of today to proffer adequate care and support for the families of everyone of our soldiers who unfortunately pays the supreme price or suffers permanent disability in the line of duty to our nation.
“It is for this reason that we have since adopted and implemented the policy framework that guarantees some financial support to the immediate families of any soldier from Rivers State that pays the supreme price or suffers permanent disability at the battlefields in the course of his or her service to our nation.
“We have also fulfilled and continue to fulfil our promises and commitments to our veterans through the Rivers State Chapter of Nigeria legion. Two days ago, we released the sum of N70Million to the chapter.”