The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has asked the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to begin to incorporate appreciation of the military into flight announcements at the airports.
Sirika gave the directive when members of Defence Headquarters Committee for Sensitisation Strategy on Public Appreciation of the Armed Forces of Nigeria visited him on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the military deserved to be appreciated for their sacrifices in ensuring the security and safety of the country and its citizens.
The minister said the nation’s armed forces had done extremely well to ensure that Nigeria remained an entity, adding that the military was one institution where oneness of Nigeria was displayed.
He said Nigerians must appreciate the armed forces for their roles in the peacekeeping efforts in West African sub-region and other parts of the world.
Sirika said: “This announcement is easy and it is granted without a doubt.
“This will lead me now to FAAN and you must retrain your announcers and appoint those who are explicit and have melodious voice so that we can appreciate the military.
“I don’t want to be appreciating my military with tired voices; I want the melody to be sweet.
“In addition, in all our parastatals, there should be banners to appreciate the military and we will also have those banners in our airports to be located in strategic places where everybody can see.
“Certainly, the Nigerian military have done tremendously well not for Nigeria but for the sub-region where we operate and for the world.
“In all the peacekeeping missions that Nigerian military has gone to, they were well appreciated because they always come top and they performed excellently well.”
The minister also pledged to produce stickers with the permission of the military authority to appreciate the armed forces for their sacrifices to the nation.
Sirika said preference would be given to members of the armed forces at the airports by creating special queue for them as it was the practice in some other countries of the world.
Earlier, Air Vice Marshal Jomo Osahor, Chairman of the committee, said the visit was to solicit for support from aviation industry to sensitise the public on the need to appreciate Nigerian armed forces.
Osahor said the committee was set up by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, to develop strategy to sensitise the public on how the members of the armed forces could be appreciated for their sacrifices.
He said the committee came up with the plan to request from the airports authority, through the minister, to incorporate a message of appreciation to the military into its flight announcements.
Osahor said the theme for the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day was: ‘’Appreciating the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”
He said: “We are all aware that announcements are regularly made at the airports either to inform you of boarding, delay or cancellation.
“It was agreed that we request the minister and the appropriate authorities to use this medium to also announce to the public on the need to appreciate the armed forces of Nigeria.
“You are all aware of the sacrifices that the armed forces are making in keeping the peace, protecting our territorial integrity.
“Some have lost their lives in the process and now you have so many widows and we think that the little we can do is to appreciate these members of the armed forces.
“In America, when you want to board an aircraft in most times, preference is given to the members of their military to board but we have not gotten there yet.
“We want you to help us sensitise Nigerians because you have the medium.”