A non-governmental organisation committed to the enhancement of education, health and environment, HalimaFactor Community Initiative has held a Peace Day in honour of the Nigerian military and other security agencies for their efforts in securing the country.
The day was observed on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the just concluded 10th annual Gombe Day of Literature/3rd edition of the North East Festival For Literature, Culture and Creativity at Gombe State University.
The event dedicated to promoting creativity, including painting, art work, spoken words, dance, acrobat and more took place from Nov. 12—16.
Speaking on why the Peace Day which also featured jogging, football match and peace talk was dedicated to the Nigerian military and other security forces, the founder of HalimaFactor Community Initiative, Halima Usman said the day is in appreciation of the men and women who have worked tirelessly to maintain peace, not only in the North East but the country in general.
According to her, security forces have made enormous sacrifices, making it possible for Nigerians to conduct their business and social activities freely, even as she appreciated the presence of Borno students who had for years missed out of the annual event as a result of the activities of insurgents in the state.
“We appreciate the sacrifices you have made, we are not taking for granted many lives that have gone in the course of protecting the rest of us”, she stated.
While narrating how she witnessed a high number of military casualties at the heat of Boko Haram insurgency in Borno years back, she said their sacrifices are not well appreciated.
“They are men and women like me, they have families, they have children, they have mothers and fathers, they have brothers and sisters.
“You can see the circumstances under which some of them are mauled down, just because they chose this job, sometimes a thankless job, just to ensure that you and I can sleep”, she lamented in an emotion-laden voice.
She decried the number of casualties being recorded by the para-military agencies, including Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Customs, Immigration, NSCDC officials, included firefighters while serving their fatherland, urging Nigerians to offer them the needed support.
In his remarks, the Special Guest of Honour and a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (Rtd) who read a poem from his book “Legend of Buratai”, titled, “Don’t Be A Terrorist” urged for psychological and moral support for the Nigerian military and other security forces.
He thanked the Initiative for deeming it worthy to dedicate a day to honour men and women who work tirelessly to secure the entire country.
“This is highly commendable. It is a sign of patriotism and a great service to the nation.”
“It symbolizes love to your country and fellow humans, fellow citizens who on daily basis face untold hardship. Sometimes, such hardships end up in ultimate sacrifice.
“It has direct bearing on their families, on their loved ones, their wives and children as well as those who depend on them”, he highlighted.
He advised students from the participating schools at event to make trust, hard work and humility their watchwords as they progress in their life journey.
Highlight of the event was presentation of a painted calabash to Buratai, standing ovation for servicemen and observation of a minute silence in honour of fallen heroes.