IBI Foundation Veterans Outreach Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), on Saturday, appreciated military veterans as part of the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
The Chief Executive Officer/Founder of the foundation, retired Lt.-Cmdr. Ibrahim Baba-Inna, said the initiative was borne out of the desire to reach out to a group of people that had dedicated their lives to defending their country.
Baba-Inna said the main goal of the foundation was to alleviate the sufferings of the vulnerable, less privileged and disabled in the society, believing in impacting positively in the lives of youths and creating clearer and secure future for the less fortitude.
According to him, the foundation also advocates for the achievements of the sustainable development goals and ensures through its programmes, that no one is left behind among other initiatives.
He said the veterans outreach initiative was designed to celebrate the Armed Forces Remembrance Day with some selected veterans to deliver gift boxes to them, to appreciate them for their selfless service and sacrifice to the nation.
Baba-Inna said that after he left the service, he discovered that the society did not care to remember the services and sacrifice of the ex-servicemen by appreciating the living veterans.
He said he decided to initiate the programme instead of sit back and be complaining, grumbling and doing nothing, adding that he had written to the various services for support to drive the process.
The founder commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo for keying into the initiative that led to the maiden veterans outreach by the foundation.
He promised to expand the scope of the programme to ensure meaningful impact on the lives of Nigerian military veterans.
“At the IBA foundation, we believe in veterans and how to put smiles on their faces for their selfless service and sacrifice to our nation.
“We have a lot of training capacity development programs, which we carry out in the center here apart from the IBI Foundation.
“There is a human capacity development programme that we carry out at the centre here and do a lot of soft skill training, on agriculture, ICT and other skills that can help people beyond the uniform.
“I am also going to be partnering with agencies like National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) and the military to be able to help veterans,” he said.
A beneficiary, retired Lt.-Cmdr. Musa Nagogo, thanked the foundation for identifying and appreciating them for their services to the nation as retired military officers.
Nagogo said the initiative had not only put smiles on their faces but also brought them together after many years, adding that it was a kind of reunion for them.
He, however, urged the foundation to expand its scope by reaching out to more veterans from across the three services.
Also, Comfort Abutu, a retired Master Warrant Officer of the Nigerian navy, thanked the foundation and its founder for the initiative to recognise those who had once laid down their lives for the country.
Abutu said that serving in the military was the best thing to happen to her and urged youths to avail themselves for military service to the nation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the gift packs presented to the individual beneficiaries were sealed with undisclosed content.
Armed Forces remembrance Day is being celebrated annually on Jan. 15 to honour veterans still alive and as a medium for soliciting financial, moral and material support for families of fallen heroes.