Dickson Drums up Support for Armed Forces


Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson, Thursday urged Nigerians to support the country’s armed forces who are currently fighting to keep the peace in several theatres of operations in Nigeria.

Dickson, who spoke in Yenagoa, maintained that the security agencies in the country have played invaluable roles in keeping the country secure and united, despite all the challenges they face.

The governor gave the address when he attended an event to herald the 31st annual general meeting of the Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Association (RANAO) taking place in the state from next week.

Represented by the Commissioner for Information and National Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the governor stated that many Nigerians do not celebrate the military officers and men for their sacrifices in keeping the country one.

While stressing the need to appreciate them for the unity of the country, the governor said: “Too often, we do not celebrate our military officers; the sacrifices they have been making to keep this country together. Some of them are risking everything.”

He added: “Look at the terror war going on in the North-east, you find top military officers, leaving families, their loved ones behind, going to battlefront.

“And in many cases, some of them lose their lives in the process. Sometimes, we take some of these things for granted but in Bayelsa, we do not take them for granted. We value them, we appreciate them. You see often times, we give them top priority and that is why we are doing what we are doing to support and appreciate them in the state.”

Dickson expressed pleasure that a major gathering of Nigeria’s former military officers was going to take place in the state, stressing that the state government was excited about the oncoming event.

According to him, the theme for the event, “Managing Health among Military Pensioners”, was apt as it is coming at a time health challenges are on the increase, especially among retirees.

Dickson noted that Bayelsa is largely peaceful today because of the zero tolerance of the government to crime and criminality and reiterated his vow not to play politics with security and development.

Chairman of RANAO in Bayelsa, Rear Admiral Geoffrey Yanga (rtd), while explaining the choice of Bayelsa State to host the annual event, said the association was impressed with the achievements of the government in the security and health‎ sectors.

He thanked the state government for the support and solidarity for the association and stated that despite retiring from active service, they are always willing‎ to offer their services for the benefit of the country.

He noted that the association would use the opportunity of the conference to unveil a veterans’ wellness centre project conceived by the chapter.