The President and Commander – In – Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has laid wreath in honour of heroes who laid down their lives to ensure security of lives and properties of Nigerians, as well as peace around the world. The President performed the ceremony Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and other top government functionaries during the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Parade/Wreath Laying Ceremony held 15 January 2019 at the National Arcade, Abuja.
Aside the wreath laying, the President equally inspected a ceremonial parade mounted by a detachment of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce and the Nigerian Legion. President Buhari also signed the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Anniversary Register and lastly, released pigeons to signify that there is peaceful co-existence in the country.
The dignitaries who also performed the wreath laying included; the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representative, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali and his Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Mohammed Bello. Others were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Abbas, the Chiefs of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the representative of the Chief of Army Staff, as well as the immediate past Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris. The Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria, Dr Al-Hassan Conteh who is the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, the National Chairman of Nigerian Legion, Brigadier General Adakole Akpa (Rtd) and Mrs Samira Abu Ali, widow of Late Lieutenant Colonel Abu Ali who died in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram in the Northeast, both laid wreath on behalf of the Diplomatic Corps, military veterans and widows of late personnel.
Other highlight of the event, were the volley of artillery gun salute, reverse arms, last post, firing of 3 volleys, and reveille. Prayers and a one minute silence were equally observed in honour of departed military vetereans for the sacrifices made towards nation building.
Like other anniversaries, this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration was dedicated to those military fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast and other internal security operations across the country.
The event is also a unique opportunity to reach out to families of these fallen heroes as well as the rehabilitation of military veterans who are still alive but incapacitated as a result of injuries they sustained during the world wars, Nigerian Civil War, among other security challenges.
As part of activities to commemorate the Remembrance Day Anniversary, a Juma’at prayer and an Inter-denomination Church Service were held at the National Mosque and the National Christian Centre respectively in Abuja.
Pertinent was that the Defence Health Maintenance Limited was on hand to provide free medical treatment and drugs to military retirees and other persons present at the occasion.