A non-governmental organisation, “#WeCare Movement” (WCM) was recently inaugurated in Lagos, to help support families of Nigeria’s fallen heroes.
The NGO which was inaugurated at the Sheraton Hotels in Lagos had Nigerians from all walks of life in attendance including a former Minister of Education, Alhaji Dauda Birmah; one-time Miss Nigeria, Ms. Binta Sukai; Senator Tokunbo Ogunbanjo; Businessman Flutist, Mr. Tee Mac Itseli; premier Gender activist, Ms. Ene Ede; and Mr. Peter Esele, former President of the Trade Unions Congress of Nigeria (TUC), among others.
In his opening remarks, Convener of the #WeCare Movement, Mr. Tony Uranta, lamented that value of security officers in the country was often underestimated by the citizenry.
“The security forces including the police, military, para-military and intelligent agencies sacrifice a lot for the citizenry. If we do not take care of these men and women and their families who risk their lives every day, then our security may not be guaranteed.
“We are all at risk of the security architecture falling apart. We must show them that we care for them and theirs if harm should befall them.
“This is why some like-minded Nigerians decided that it is overdue to create a foundation or movement to care for them,” Uranta said.
He said that the WeCare Movement intends to create advocacy, insurance etc. for better conditions of service for the living service men.
“We have also seen situations where families of service men who fall in the line of duty are evicted from their barracks two or three months after the deaths of these fallen heroes.
“This movement in addition to providing succour to the widows and orphans of such fallen heroes will also create life insurance policies for them,” he said.
In her speech, the Executive Director of the Movement, Dr. Joe-Okei Odumakin, said the #WeCare Movement is a non-political and non- partisan one.
Odumakin said the WCM was a humanitarian services movement that has to do with networking and partnership aimed at honouring and providing for living security officers and their dependents.
“#WeCare Movement, as the name connotes, will cover all those who put their life in danger for Nigeria including policemen, customs, immigration, military and intelligence units among others.
“These are the people that put their lives on the line for all of us. The #WeCare Movement will be the lubricant to gain their commitment,” she said.
She said the movement would partner with credible individuals and bodies, locally and globally, to make the dream realizable,” she added.
Making his input, Senator Ogunbanjo said the movement should include care for nurses and doctors and the road safety Corp Marshalls.
He posited that the society must show some level of compassion to families of fallen heroes to make them more passionate about sacrificing for the country.
Comrade Esele in his submission said that such a movement that would encourage the nation’s security officers was long overdue.
He said Nigeria can achieve better security through them if better conditions of service were set for them.
Ace broadcaster and wife of the Convener, Baarong Tony Uranta, urged the gathering to aggressively sensitise the public and to use every medium available like the media, music, drama and others to create consciousness about the movement.
She also underscored the need for a database to check and monitor the families of the fallen heroes and their surviving family members in order to cater for them.
The Chairman of the event, and ex-minister for Education, charged Nigerians on humanitarianism, saying, “When we care, we are redeeming ourselves. We must not turn our backs or block our consciences. This initiative will eventually grow far beyond this original limited goal to encompass vistas beyond our imagination today!