Jonathan makes emblem compulsory for FG business

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has made the wearing of Armed Forces remembrance emblem compulsory for staff members and every other person coming into the State House for government business.

While launching the appeal fund for the 2015 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, at State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, on Monday, President Jonathan said it was also compulsory for anyone discussing government business with ministers.

Jonathan had, last year,  given a similar order during the launch of the 2014 edition of the Armed Remembrance Day.

The idea, he said, was to encourage those who made sacrifices in the preservation of the peace and unity of the country.

He said: “After this emblem launch, I encourage all Nigerians to procure and wear the emblems with pride throughout the remembrance period, that is from today till January 15, next year.

“This will symbolise our appreciation for the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and veterans and also assure those in service that their fatherland will never forsake them and will continue to remember them.

“Last year, I instructed that all should identify with our armed forces, and this year is no exception.

“I, personally, will put on the emblem from today till January 15, and in the State House, it is a tradition that for you to come in from tomorrow, you must wear the emblem.’’

President Jonathan praised the men and women of the nation’s Armed Forces for their courage and sacrifices in the war against insurgency in some parts of the country, stressing the Federal Government’s commitment to the welfare of military veterans and families of the nation’s fallen heroes.

He added: “We salute and appreciate the courage and sacrifices of men and women of our armed forces in grappling with the wave of terrorism in some parts of our dear country.

“They have displayed unalloyed loyalty and commitment to Nigeria. In their demanding task to keep Nigeria one and united, some of our gallant officers and men have lost their lives.

“To these officers and men, we pay tribute and pray fervently for the repose of their souls.”

He, therefore, directed the Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Jones Arogbofa, to compile the list of such donors with a view to reaching them.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan has assured that Nigeria’s Armed Forces and security agencies will sustain and intensify ongoing operations against insurgents in the country’s north-eastern states to achieve significantly improved security there ahead of the 2015 general elections.

He gave the assurance while speaking at an audience with the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Uriel Palti, in State House, Abuja on Monday.

Jonathan said Nigeria would also continue to work with neighbouring countries for the effective implementation of the regional security arrangements which were recently concluded to enhance multilateral cooperation against extremism, terrorism, insurgency and other cross-border crimes.