President Muhammadu Buhari, Friday, led other top government functionaries, including service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps to honour the nation’s fallen and living heroes in commemoration of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRDC).
The event involved laying of wreaths at the National Arcade. First to lay a wreath was the President, followed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.
Other dignitaries also performed the wreath-laying ceremony including the Minister of Defence, Retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi and his Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Mallam Mohammed Bello; the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas and members of the diplomatic corps as well as the Nigerian Legion and widows of the late officers/soldiers represented by Mrs Ladi Umar.
Buhari thereafter signed the anniversary register and released the ceremonial pigeon as a symbol of national peace.
In his address, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), urged Nigerians to support the nation’s Armed Forces to boost their morale to win various ongoing campaigns in the country.
According to him, all Nigerians were critical stakeholders in maintaining a well-mobilised professionally responsible and responsive military that would be capable of safeguarding the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
While commending President Buhari for providing the right leadership to secure the country internally and against external aggression, he said a buy-in by the public in the form of speaking well of the military would energise the nation’s fighting forces to win the battles.
The event was also commemorated in various states of the federation, with the state governors and other prominent Nigerians harping on the need for the nation to always remember the labour of her fallen heroes and serving troops.
In Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended Nigerian officers, dead and alive, for their commitment and sacrifice over the years.
Sanwo-Olu stated this at the Remembrance Arcade, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, where the event was marked.
The governor noted that the yearly celebration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day was a testimonial that government and Nigerians appreciate their sacrifices in keeping Nigeria one. Sanwo-Olu was happy that the celebration still held despite the coronavirus pandemic.
After inspecting the guard of honour, the governor laid a wreath in commemoration of the day. After that, he went on to release pigeons, which all flew away from their cage and balloons.
On hand to celebrate the fallen officers included the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, representative of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Commanders of 9 Brigade, Ikeja and 651 Base Service Group, Ikeja, Oba of Lagos and Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Lagos Chapter, who all took turns to lay wreaths after the governor.
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said the state government would participate fully in all the programmes leading to the final burial of the former Military Governor of the State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), who died last Wednesday at 77.
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