He said that the country was also proud of their gallantry and skills which they had displayed during various internal strifes to keep the nation together.
Buhari spoke while launching the official emblem for 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day with the theme “Appreciating the resilience of the Nigerian Armed Forces” at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Performing the annual ritual through his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said part of the welfare packages was the recent increase in their pension.
He said: “We are gathered here today to observe a worthy tradition of acknowledging and appreciating the gallantry and sacrifices of our veterans in the first and second world wars, peace keeping operations around the world and internal security operations, particularly the ongoing campaign against terrorism at home.
“It is indeed fitting and worthwhile and even noble to honour our distinguished veterans, some who paid the highest price and many others who devoted significant part of their lives to the service of our country and the world at large.
“Since independence 56 years ago, our nation has witnessed a number of internal strifes, survived a civil war but we have remained united. Our people have through all consistently shown a commitment to remaining as one people.
This in itself honours the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, heroines and veterans who rose up and continue to rise up to confront the security challenges of the day.
“We are here today to demonstrate our appreciation for their service and to value their devotion and honour their memory. This is why the armed forces Remembrance Day celebration is observed annually as we do today to commemorate the selfless service of our gallant troops.
“The theme of this year’s celebration, “Appreciating the resilience of the Nigerian Armed Forces” is apt.
It speaks to the perseverance and dedication of our serving and departed men in the uniform. Those great attributes are particularly on display in this trying times in our national life as our men and women of the armed forces make genuine efforts to bring down the insurgents.
“Let it be said all over again that as an administration, we will continue to honour our military forces in their ongoing arduous fight against terrorists and we will do all we can to remember their sacrifices and appreciate their families who bear the brunt at different levels of pains and loss.
“As a nation, we are grateful to you, our loyal and gallant troops for ensuring that terrorism and hate do not prevail in our land and doing so with such commitment and fervour.
To their families, we owe an even greater debt of gratitude and a permanent duty not to forget what their husbands and wives did and to also ensure that we remember them materially.
“Let me also salute the courage and sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces in grappling with militancy, oil theft and piracy in some parts of the country.
They have displayed unalloyed loyalty and commitment to Nigeria. “When we consider the situation and conditions under which they died, suffered physical incapacitation, those of us who are beneficiaries of their sacrifice carry a compelling moral duty to do our best to contribute towards the welfare and sustenance of their families and dependants.
“Beyond our words of gratitude that honour, their memories and services, our modest material comfort can go a long way to ameliorate their pain and loss. This is why the Nigerian Legion is high among charitable organizations of note deserving our patronage both as a government and as a people.
“The Nigerian Legion which is the umbrella body of veterans has continued to contribute to the growth and development of the country. “The emblem launch today is meant to appeal to all Nigerians to identify with the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and veterans by making generous donations towards supporting the Nigerian Legion.
Furthermore, after the emblem launch, I implore all Nigerians to procure and wear the emblem with pride especially throughout the remembrance period.
“The Federal Government will continue to commit itself to addressing the challenges facing our veterans. To this end, we have recently implemented the recommendation to increase their pension.
We are also happy you note that the military pension scheme is running efficiently even as verification exercise for ex-servicemen and women was successfully conducted recently.
“It is my pleasure to on behalf of the President to launch the 2017 armed forces Remembrance Day emblem and appeal fund with N10m on behalf of the Federal Government.” Earlier, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali praised the efforts of the officers, saying that they had sacrificed their comfort for the good of the country.
“The campaign against terrorism has tasked the resourcefulness of our armed forces. Many lives of officers were lost and many sustained injuries.
They gave their yesterday for the nation’s today and tomorrow. We owe their families our generosity,” he said. He urged all Nigerians wear the emblem to honour those who paid the supreme price.
Also, the Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Col. Micah Gaya (rtd.) Said that the retired soldiers recently made a donation of food items to 50 widows, bursaries to 50 children and assisted 50 veterans at an event held in Makurdi, Benue State.
He later decorated the vice president, Osinbajo, the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; Dan-Ali; as well as service chiefs with the emblem.
Other ministers and heads of government agencies would be decorated in their various ministries.
Wearing of the emblem would terminate January 15, 2017 which is the Remembrance Day