Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, who announced this at the Wreath Laying Ceremony in commemoration of 2020 AFRDC at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, adding that the scholarship would be up to university level.
He also urged Nigerians to motivate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces in its efforts to defeat the insurgents in the North-East.
Wike also directed the Secretary to the Rivers State Government to work out modalities for the State Government to support the Nigerian Legion and soldiers of Rivers State origin who pay the ultimate price.
He said: “The war on terror in the North-East has raged for too long, claiming too many military and civilian victims. We must come together as a nation to do whatever that is necessary to support and motivate our soldiers to win this terrible war.’’
The Chairman of the Nigerian Legion in Rivers, Justice Chichi, commended the state governor for his kindness towards the welfare and support of ex-servicemen and families of the fallen heroes.
He called on the state governor to assist the Legion with financial support for the sustenance of scholarships for the children of the fallen heroes.
The Legion Chairman also urged the governor to build a Secretariat for the Legion.
Also the Nigerian Legion, Bayelsa chapter has called on the federal and state government to improve the well being of its members.
Mr Okubokeme Ogele, Chairman of the Legionnaire, who made the call in Yenagoa, said improving their welfare would encourage the Armed Forces in peace keeping across states of the federation.
“We need regular payment of our pension. The federal government and state need to do more in the fight against insecurity. We know the issue of funding is a very huge challenge but we must not relent in supporting the soldiers in checkmating insecurity.
“The soldiers have done well, especially in the states that have security challenge. I commend them all, those in Army, Navy and Air Force on peace keeping,” Ogele said.
In his remark, Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, commended the armed forces contributions to national development.
Dickson, represented by Secretary to Secretary to State Government, Kemela Okara, said the state government was committed to improving the well-being of members of the Armed Forces.
“We know the Armed Forces Day is to celebrate the peaceful coexistence of the nation. Today, we are celebrating the brand of architecture that we are enjoying in their gallantry in peace keeping,’’ he said.
The Nigerian Legion, Cross River chapter, appealed to the government to pay members the newly approved Minimum wage of N30,000.
Its chapter Chairman, Michael Ekuk said the balance of the arrears owed them should also be paid.
According to him the money paid to members of the Nigerian Legion was too meagre and cannot take care of the members who are alive as well as the families of the deceased members.
“We want the government to pay us the remaining balance of the arrears owed us, if this is done, our members who are still living will enjoy with their families.
“Also, we would be able to assist the widows and orphans of our fallen heroes and those that are bed ridden,’’ he said.
He however thanked the government for releasing part of the arrears owed members of the legion to put smiles on faces of his members.
The Deputy Governor of Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu, released white pigeons which symbolised peace and inspected a Guard of Honour.
Wreaths were also laid on the tomb of the unknown soldiers by dignitaries.
The governor said this year’s celebration was remarkable marking 50 years since the end of Nigeria Civil war.
He said the sacrifices of fallen heroes should not be taken for granted and should serve as a reminder that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable.
He said: “This year celebration is quite remarkable and it should remind us that people sacrifice their lives to keep this country united. We should also remember that never again should we allow the incidence that led to the civil war occur.’’
Assistant Commandant-General and Chairman, Nigeria Legion, Edo Council, Sunny Eboigbe, said the annual event should remind citizens of the essence of peace and stability as the most cherished ingredient for progress and development.
He appealed to government at all levels to initiate sustainable welfare packages for ex-servicemen and widows of fallen heroes to reduce their dependence on charity.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Ismail Abdulaziz