Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was at the lead of dignitaries who trooped out on Sunday to put a wrap on the country’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC) this year.
Buhari led Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, members of the National Assembly, service chiefs and the diplomatic corps to honour Nigeria’s fallen and living heroes, with the laying of wreath at the National Arcade in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), climaxing activities for the 2023 AFRDC.
First to lay the wreath, the President was followed by others in this order: the Vice President, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila; the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; the Minister of Defence, retired Major-General Bashir Magashi; and the FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello.
They were followed by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Faruk Yahaya; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo.
Members of the diplomatic corps, the Nigerian Legion and the widows of late officers and soldiers, represented by Mrs. Cynthia Uba, also performed the wreath-laying ceremony.
There was also the firing of three volleys in honour of the fallen heroes.
The ritual of firing of three volleys has its origin in the old custom of halting fighting in the war front to remove the dead from the battlefield.
Following the firing of three volleys, the President signed the anniversary register and released the ceremonial pigeons as a symbol of national peace and freedom.
This year’s celebration kickstarted with series of activities, including Jumma’at prayer on Friday, January 6, 2023, at the National Mosque, Abuja; and Interdenominational Christian service on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.
This year’s celebration also featured sporting activities such as golf tournament and paintball combat competition organised by the Defence Headquarters, among other activities.
Celebrated globally to recognise and appreciate the sacrifices made by 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 AFRDC 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.
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