By Emmanuel Afonne
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative has urged the Federal Government to establish “education fund” to carter for the families of the country’s fallen heroes who are mostly youths.
Mr Solomon Adodo, the National Coordinator of the group, made the call in Abuja on Monday during a news conference to mark the 2019 International Youth Day.
Adodo while commending the Army hierarchy for prioritising the welfare of its troops at the war theatre, explained that the group chose to celebrate the nation’s fallen heroes at this time because of the ultimate price they paid to keep the nation united.
He pleaded with the government to ensure that the education of the children of the dead soldiers were paramount going by the theme of this year’s celebration, which is “Transforming education”.
“The Nigerian youth have proven over time to be brave and patriotic and the least the nation can do in appreciation is not to allow their dreams perish with them.
“More than 80 per cent of soldiers that have lost their lives fighting insurgents and other criminal elements are youths and these youths have wives and children.
“One of the ways the federal government can show appreciation for the ultimate price paid by these heroes is to float a fund that will see to the education and welfare of the deceased families.
“We acknowledge that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has taken initiative to ensure that troops are properly cared for.
“We are also aware that he has consistently extended a hand of fellowship to families of slain soldiers as well as given proper medical attention to wounded soldiers both home and abroad as the case demands.
“This is indeed a feat not just worth commending but worthy of full patriotic support,” Adodo said.
According to him, the youths have consistently sacrificed for the peace and unity of the nation and that it is high time the nation reciprocate this gesture.
“We herein appeal to the federal government to pay particular attention to the needs of the Nigerian Army and other security outfits for their arduous efforts in maintaining Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
“In view of the complexities involved in fighting insurgency, we use this medium to appeal to all Nigerians to be conscious of the comments they make about our Military and security agencies bearing in mind that whatever is said would either encourage or dampen the morale of the troops.
“All that we ought to do at this point in time is to show solidarity with our troops to completely flush out terrorists and other criminal elements in our country for the good of all.
“The Nigerian Military has recorded tremendous success and much more can be achieved with our renewed support,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the United Nations (UN) has mapped out Aug. 12 every year to recognise efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society.
The UN also aimed to use the day to promote ways to engage the youth in making positive contributions to their communities especially as it concerns making education more inclusive and accessible for all youths.