By Abuchi Onwumelu

All hands should be on deck to sustain the unity of the Nigerian nation, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeoka for has advocated. The bishop’s position was contained in his homily at the celebration of the Mass to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, in Awka, Anambra State.

Speaking on the security situation of the country, the bishop emphasized that the primary duty of any serious government was its ability to put in place adequate security; adding that any government that could not protect life and property is not in the best interest of the people and the country.

Bishop Ezeokafor showered encomiums on both serving and retired security agents of the country for their laudable efforts, in spite of challenges; and therefore called on the Federal Government to ensure that necessary logistics were provided to enable the security agents carry out their duty effectively and efficiently.

He also called on those in-charge of the entitlements of retired and deceased security agents to ensure that the beneficiaries receive these benefits it as and when due. The bishop frowned at the way and manner those in authority siphon monies meant for the welfare and well-being of security personnel, describing the act as a grievous sin before God.

Bishop Ezeokafor advised that appointment of service chiefs should be on merit and not the other way around, saying that those called to serve must do it diligently and wholeheartedly. He stressed that the security of life and property of the people should not be sacrificed on the altar of nepotism, favouritism and religion. He advised government to ensure that square pegs are put in square holes in this perspective. whenever they embarked on appointment of service chiefs.

The Catholic prelate enjoined all Nigerians to be patriotic and support the security agents, noting that members of the Armed forces were doing their best and needed to be encouraged and commended; adding that they risk their lives for the nation and they deserved to be appreciated, catered for and adequately remunerated.

Continuing, Bishop Ezeokafor urged those on the saddle of power to borrow a leaf from Anambra State’s security architecture which, he described as the best in the country. According to him, Anambra State remained the most secured State in Nigeria.

Those present at the celebration included: Dr. Nkem Okeke, the deputy Governor of Anambra State who represented the executive Governor, Chief Wilie Obiano; the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Uchenna Okafor, the Acting Chief Judge of Anambra State, O. M Anyachebelu; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu; The Chief of Staff, Anambra State, Hon. Primus Odili, Head of Service, Barr. Harry Udu, The State president of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Ichie Damian Okeke Ogene, Service chiefs, among others.

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