The final ceremony to conclude the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Ceremony took place at the National Arcade Abuja on Monday with a tight security cordon around the Federal Secretariat and environs.
President Muhammadu Buhari; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen; and the nation’s service chiefs were among dignitaries that attended the strictly military event.
The road leading to the Federal Secretariat was shut to traffic throughout the duration of the programme that saw Buhari and some of the dignitaries laying wreaths in honour of the fallen heroes.
On arrival at the arcade, the President inspected a military parade before proceeding to lay a wreath in honour of the fallen heroes.
Others who laid wreaths at the ceremony included Vice President Osinbajo, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, CJN, Onnoghen; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello; service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, representative of the diplomatic corps; representative of the fallen soldiers’ widows and a representative of the Nigerian Legion.
A minute silence was observed for the fallen heroes, followed by a 21-gun salute and the release of pigeons to signify peace and the signing of the anniversary register by the President.
While inaugurating the anniversary emblem and appeal fund in Abuja, the President urged Nigerians not to allow the country to witness another civil war by their actions and inactions.
Buhari at that emblem appeal fund launching disclosed that it was worthwhile to honour the memory of veterans who paid the supreme sacrifice to keep the country united.
His words, “The resolve by our countrymen and women to remain in one indivisible and indissoluble nation, Nigeria is at the centre of this celebration.
“Indeed, the Remembrance Day Celebration is being marked on the 15th of January instead of 11th of November as in other Commonwealth nations to commemorate the end of the Nigerian civil war – a war that was fought to keep Nigeria one.
“We must, therefore, cast our minds back at the events that led to the civil war, the immense human capital loss of the tragic war, and resolve that never again shall we allow our dear nation by our actions or inactions to experience another war.”
“As a government, we desire to improve the capability of our Armed Forces. I am glad that our efforts are yielding positive results already in boosting the morale of men and women of the Armed Forces.
“We will continue to engage them in training and retraining to improve on their capacity to discharge their constitutional roles.