January 15, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday, presided over the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Abuja.
It is his final as president, as he exits office on May 29, 2023.
The ceremony is the finale of activities, which began on November 16, 2022, when Buhari launched the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He had announced a donation of N10m to the Nigerian Legion, at the time.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a day observed on the 15th of January every year, to honour the servicemen of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the fallen heroes.
The event celebrated each year also honours experienced persons of the first and second world wars, as well as the Nigerian civil war.
It is a great and memorable day, set aside for sober reflections on the significance and great role of the armed forces to the country, especially at this critical phase of the country’s fight against insecurity and other vices.
The armed forces Remembrance Day was formerly celebrated every 11th day of November globally. It was known then as the Armistice Day, remembering the end of the First World War, until the formal end of the Nigerian civil war on January 15, 1970.
In Nigeria, the date was changed to mark the rebuilding of her harmony. The Day is also set aside to celebrate personnel of other paramilitary organisations, who have died in the line of duties.
During Sunday’s ceremony, which took place at the National Arcade, opposite the Eagle Square in the Three Arms Zone, the President inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by detachments of the Nigerian Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Nigerian Legion.
Prayers were said by Christian and Muslim clerics for the peaceful repose of the souls of the dead and the health of the nation.
Buhari laid a wreathe on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as a mark of last respect to the fallen heroes who paid the supreme price to preserve the nation’s territorial integrity and peace globally.
Also laying wreaths were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Musa Bello.
Others are the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, service chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, the Nigerian Legion, among others.
Three volleys of 21 gun salute were fired at the event, followed by the signing of the Remembrance Day anniversary register by the president, accompanied by heads of the other branches of government, military chiefs and other top officials of government.
President Buhari, thereafter, released white pigeons to indicate the harmony of the nation.