President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday led a wreath-laying to honour the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, observed annually on the 15th of January.
During the event at the National Arcade in Abuja, the President, after inspecting a presidential parade, paid tribute to the country’s veterans and service people, living or dead.
This year’s event, which he graced for the last time as President, also had Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila in attendance.
Others dignitaries present at the occasion are the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Tanko Muhammad; the service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and some members of the President’s cabinet. They took turns to pay respect to the soldiers who paid the ultimate price protecting the nation’s territorial integrity, experienced persons of the first and second world wars as well as the Nigerian civil war, personnel of other paramilitary organizations who have died in the line of duties, and the country’s service men and women in general.
As the celebrations unfold, ceremonies are also expected to hold across various states of the federation during which governors are expected to pay tributes to the nation’s fallen stars.
“The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” are words from Nigeria’s National Anthem consistent with the essence of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, as selfless fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives while fighting to ensure the territorial integrity, peace, and unity of the nation, either on land, water, or air, are celebrated and honoured annually in the country every 15th of January.
It is primarily a memorable day of sober reflections on the worth and works of the country’s armed forces, especially at this critical phase of the country’s consistent triumph over insecurity.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day was formally 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. The date was changed to significantly align with the rebuilding of Nigeria’s peace and togetherness.
This year’s event is significant because of the recorded improvements in the country’s combat against banditry even as it prepares for the 2023 general elections in February.
It is a great day to remind all Nigerians, and the global community too, that the nation’s strength greatly rests in her multiplicity and there is a need to guide the integrity, unity and peace of the nation, which was earned at great price.
Undeniably, Nigerians continue to show gratitude for the countless efforts and sacrifices of the armed forces especially in the fight against uprising, internal crimes, and other security challenges.
Some of the feats of the country’s military include deactivating plans of terrorists, kidnappers, and bandits, as well as rising up to other activities threatening the peace and growth of the country.
On the part of the country’s people and leadership, the fallen heroes can be supported, in the short-term by conducting the country’s February general elections peacefully, and in the long-term by sustaining qualitative provisions and encouragement, especially for families left behind.