As part of activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Abuja Preparatory School has honoured two deserving soldiers with cash gift for their welfare.
In his address, the head master of the school, Akif Naqvi explained that the Remembrance Day which is globally performed on 11th November every year to mark the end of the World War 1, bears great importance to all and the school is committed to recognizing the sacrifices made by Nigerian and the British soldiers.
He explained that students, parents and staff contributed towards the “Poppy Appeal” which is viewed as a symbol of peace to raise N200,000.
He added that donations will be given to Staff Sergeant (Rtd) Usman and Corporal Peter who lost his legs on duty, while adding that some of this amount will be donated to the Royal British Legion in the UK.
“For me, the reason behind supporting the veterans, primarily because as an International school it is important that our students know the sacrifices made by the British and Nigerian military to bring peace to the world. It also has deep personal meaning to me, as my grandfather served in the British Indian Army in Burma and my brother in law died recently in Afghanistan,” he said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Phil Wilkinson, wing commander, British Royal Airforce described the gesture as a worthy cause noting that the sacrifices of soldiers in World War I & II cannot be forgotten as their effort contributed to the peace in the world today.
A parent, Mr Dele Thomas pointed out the ceremony coming to Nigeria was a welcomed idea, noting that many Nigerians fought in the first and second world war and it is an opportunity to recognize our fallen heroes, he also revealed that his great grand uncle Fl. Lt. Adeniyi Thomas (1914-1945) was the first black officer commissioned in the Royal Air Force, adding that it was worthy of note that he died in active service.
The beneficiaries who spoke with LEADERSHIP expressed gratitude to the school for donating to welfare of soldiers, describing the gesture as noble.
A beneficiary, Corporal Monday Peter who served in the 4 demonstration battalion and lost his legs in the heat of the fight against Book Haram expressed his gratitude to the school, applauding the rear gesture, he added that he was happy for the recognition.
Also speaking, veteran soldier Salihu Usman, who served in the Nigerian Army noted that the welfare of soldiers is key to maintaining security in the country.
‘‘I urge more private organizations and the government to make more effort in assisting the Security Forces in whatever way they can,’’ he said.
The event was attended by Honourable Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Wing Commander Phil Wilkinson (British Military Advisory & Training Team), Col Shahid Aziz (Defence Attaché Pakistan), Lt Commander D.U. Aruogu (Nigerian Navy), Staff Sergeant Nicole Dieken (US Army) and Sgt First Class Jason Thomas (US Army).