By: Olajide Toriola
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun on Thursday saluted President Muhammadu Buhari and the Armed Forces of Nigeria over the defeat of insurgents in the country.
Aregbesola, while speaking at the 2017 Launch of Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem at the Government House in Osogbo, regretted that the country suffered untold carnage while official corruption also bedeviled the battle against insurgents before the advent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government at the centre.
The Governor donated a sum of N10m in launch of the emblem and also promised to give a brand new bus for the comfort of members of the legions in the state.
While recalling what Nigeria went through while the Boko Haram held sway, Aregbesola said it was pathetic that the North-Eastern part of Nigeria came under Boko Haram with the most horrendous cases of killings, maiming and intimidations.
He said, “We have received good news of the routing of the insurgents at Sambisa forest and the destruction of their base by the Nigerian armed forces. Our soldiers, airmen and women and the officers of the various security agencies involved in this campaign have performed admirably, gallantly and heroically in the defence of our territorial integrity and pride as a nation and people.
“To be able to appreciate this, we must remember that large swaths of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States were seized by insurgents and their satanic flag firmly planted on these territories, with their macabre style of administration established therein.
“Thousands of our dear citizens have been killed, hundreds of thousands displaced while property, running into billions, including farms and animals destroyed. All social and economic activities were paralysed. Beyond these states, these criminals make daring raids and carry out murderous operation in many parts of the North, leaving behind a trail of blood, sorrow and destruction.”
Saluting the courage of the fallen heroes, Aregbesola said they have laid down their lives.
He also recalled how certain political leaders and their military collaborators fleeced the country of funds meant for the prosecution of the battle against Boko Haram.
“We have seen to our national shame and embarrassment how funds meant for procuring arms and ammunition for soldiers were shared by politicians of the last regime and their collaborating leadership in the armed forces. Their actions, cruel, inhuman and ungodly, put our soldiers in harm’s way and exacted unnecessary casualties from our armed forces. But these courageous soldiers held the fort, fought bravely, and under a new godly and committed leadership, they have been able to defend the territorial integrity of our fatherland. I commend their patriotism and resilience. We must glorify God for His abiding grace, commend President Muhammadu Buhari, salute the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces, the various security organisations, members of the civilian joint task force, long suffering and traumatized people in the affected areas who bore the pains and bitterness of the insurgency with unbelievable resilience and maturity and governments and people of the north-eastern region of Nigeria,” he said.
Aregbesola said President Buhari’s diplomatic shuttles shortly after assuming office in 2015 paid off adding that the requests for cooperation by the neighboring countries by Buhari showed a huge understanding of what the problem of insurgency required.
“For that efforts, it was clear that with time, we would rid our land of criminals,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address Deputy Commandant GeneraI and chairman Nigerian Legion state of Osun Commander Alimi Isamotu, expressed appreciation to the Governor for numerous assistance to the legion and the provision of uniform for the Commander.
The event was attended by members of the legions, top government functionaries and traditional rulers.