The grand finale of the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held in Abuja yesterday, ended with wreath laying in honour of the fallen heroes at the military arcade.
President Muhammadu Buhari; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen and the nation’s service chiefs were among the dignitaries that laid wreaths for the fallen heroes.
The ceremony, which lasted for about an hour was held at the National Arcade, opposite the Eagle Square, Three Arms Zone, Abuja. The ceremony was similarly held in the 36 states of the federation.
On arrival at the arcade, the President inspected a military parade before proceeding to lay a wreath.
Others who laid wreaths at the ceremony included Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello; service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) representative of the diplomatic corps; representative of the fallen soldiers’ widows and a representative of the Nigerian Legion.
The event also witnessed a minute silence for the fallen heroes, 21-gun salute, the release of pigeons to signify peace and the signing of the anniversary register by the President.
Speaker Dogara in a message noted that their efforts at maintaining the territorial integrity of Nigeria and security of lives and property will never go unrecognised.
Dogara said it takes act of courage and sacrifice to willingly take up a role to put one’s life at risk in order to secure the sovereignty of the whole nation.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, urged Nigerians to always give peace a chance and embrace dialogue as a necessary mechanism for conflict resolution.
In Lagos, Ambode noted that one of the best ways to appreciate and acknowledge the supreme price paid by gallant members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the defence of the sovereignty of the country is to ensure that conflicts are always resolved amicably.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said marginalization was fuelling most of the avoidable crises in the polity.
Wike however tasked the President to give every section of the country a sense of belonging and justice to entrench peace in the country.
The governor further said that most Nigerians are unhappy with the state of the nation, especially the unending killings and shedding of innocent blood across the country.
In Kano, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje called for improved welfare package for retired military and Police officers similar to those in active service.
He reminded that increasing the retirement benefits of the ex-military men and women will improve their sense of belonging.
Similar ceremonies were held in Osun, Ondo, Delta, Anambra,Plateau, Bayelsa, Cross River and other states where the governors laid wreaths in honour of the fallen heroes.
Source: The Guardian