184 Families of Fallen Heroes Enjoy Life Assurance- Defence Minister
1. It is my honour and privilege to welcome you on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, to the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration 2021. The Armed Forces Remembrance Day or Veterans Day as it is called in some Countries is a momentous event celebrated globally. It is observed in commemoration of the end of the First World War which happened at the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month in 1918. The Commonwealth Member Countries also observe this event on 11th November annually. For Nigeria, the date was changed to 15th January annually to accommodate the remembrance of the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970.
2. In recent years, our dear Nation, Nigeria, has been encumbered by diverse internal security problems. These challenges which threaten the corporate existence of the Country have necessitated the deployment of members of the Armed Forces to the affected Regions to restore normalcy. At the peak of these challenges are the Unconventional Warfare waged in the North East by the Boko Haram Terrorist Group, the Herdsmen clashes in the North-Central part of the Country and the bandits/cattle rustlers in the North West which have all tested the capabilities and resources of the Nigerian Military sometimes resulting in these gallant Officers suffering varying degrees of incapacitation and at other times, paying the ultimate sacrifice.
3. These sacrifices have led to the return of relative normalcy and peace in the North-East with the gradual return of Civil Institutions and a sizeable number of the Internally Displaced Persons to their ancestral homes. Furthermore, the Federal and State Governments respectively, are actively involved in rebuilding Public Institutions and Communities affected by these security challenges. It is noteworthy to mention some corporate organizations such as the Dangote Foundation, TY Danjuma Foundation amongst others whose interventions have aided the rebuilding/resettlement process of the war affected citizens is exemplary and worthy of emulation.
4. Annually, the Country through the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces. It is in this regard that I am happy to note that the Veteran Affairs Division of the Ministry of Defence has a dedicated Desk for the Widows of the fallen heroes.
5. May I use this opportunity to relay some of the Ministry’s activities in improving the welfare of Veterans of the Armed Forces:
a. Pension Administration. The Military Pensions Board continues to deliver on regular payment of pensions to eligible retired members of the Armed Forces. Periodic Verification Exercises are carried out by the Board to eliminate sharp practices.
b. Defence Health Insurance Scheme. The Defence Health Maintenance Limited, with the support of the Ministry of Defence, will continued to provide Health Insurance Service for Veterans, Widows and eligible, dependants of our fallen heroes. Offices have been established in 16 States of the Federation to improve service delivery.
c. Payment of Group Life Assurance. The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Defence has continued to pay the Group Life Assurance to the next of kins of deceased personnel of the Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defence made a public presentation of cheques on 18 February 2020 to 184 Next-of-Kins of some deceased officers and men of the Armed Forces under the 2018/2019 Scheme of the Group Life Assurance Programme. The Ministry of Defence will continue to ensure that all the Armed Forces personnel are provided insurance cover under the Group Life Assurance Scheme at all times.
6. This Press Briefing heralds the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration. The activities marking the celebration will include:
a. The Nigerian Legion Humanitarian Day. This is scheduled to hold on Friday 23rd October 2020 at the Legion House, Area 3, Garki, Abuja and Legion Offices in all States of the Federation. This involves Community Service by the Veterans and empowerment of Widows and Orphans of fallen heroes.
b. Emblem Launch by Mr President. The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, will launch the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem on Wednesday 28th
October 2021 at the Council Chambers, State House, Aso Villa, Abuja.
c. Religious Services. The Juma’at Service will hold at the National Mosque, Abuja with the Inter-denominational Church Service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja on Friday 8th January and Sunday, 10th January 2021 respectively. These will hold simultaneously in all States of the Federation.
d. Wreath Laying Ceremony. The apex of the celebration will be the laying of Wreath by Mr President and other dignitaries at the National Cenotaph, Abuja and Governors in their respective States on Friday 15th January 2021.
7. Gentlemen of the Press, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to appreciate your presence at this significant event. I implore you to give adequate coverage to the activities marking the 2021 Armed Forces
Remembrance Day Celebration. In a bid to foster peace, engender security, Nationalism and the development of the Nation, it is pertinent to air Programmes that project the sacrifices of our Veterans and Fallen Heroes.
8. Thank you for your attention and God bless Nigeria.
MAJOR GENERAL BASHIR SALIHI MAGASHI
THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF DEFENCE