Pesident Muhammadu Buhari Saturday led the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, members of National Assembly (NASS), service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps to honour the nation’s fallen and living heroes.
The event, which involved laying of wreaths at the National Arcade in Abuja, was the climax of the main activities lined up to celebrate the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC).
First to lay the wreath was the President, followed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
In other order, the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi and his Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Malam Mohammed Bello, laid the wreaths.
After, was the turn of Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; the Chiefs of Army, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo.
Other dignitaries, who also performed the wreath-laying ceremony are members of the diplomatic corps and their representatives as well as Nigerian Legion and widows of late officer/soldiers represented by Mrs Cynthia Uba.
The next was the firing of three volleys in honour of fallen heroes which has its origin in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield.
President Buhari, thereafter, signed the anniversary register and released the ceremonial pigeon as a symbol of national peace and freedom.
The celebration started with series of activities including Jumma’at prayer on Jan. 6, at National Mosque and Interdenominational Christian service on Jan. 8.
This year’s celebration also featured some sporting activities such as golf tournament and paintball combat competition organised by the Defence Headquarters among other activities.
AFRDC is celebrated globally to recognise and appreciate the sacrifices made by their citizens for the cause of peace.
In Nigeria, January 15, is set aside annually to honour the fallen heroes who laid down their lives in service to humanity during the first and second world wars, Nigerian civil war, peace support and various internal security operations.
The event is also used to honour veterans still alive and as a medium for soliciting financial, moral and material support for the families of the fallen heroes.