Molly Kilete, Abuja
The 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day has ended in Abuja with a wreath-laying ceremony by President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Cenotaph.
The laying of the wreath marks the end of the emblem week held in memory of Nigeria’s fallen heroes who laid down their lives during the First and Second World Wars, Nigerian Civil War, peace support and various internal security operations, and the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in the North-East.
It also marked a day to reach out to the loved ones left behind to and rehabilitate those have been suffered injuries or left incapacitated.
The ceremony, which started at about 11 O’clock with the arrival of the President, kickstarted after he inspected the Guard of Honor.
Prayers were offered for the peace and stability of the country by the directors of chaplain services of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force, who prayed for the protection of soldiers fighting the counter-insurgency war and other security operations across the country, for the families of those who have lost their lives to keep the country at peace, and for the country’s leaders.
With the prayers over, dignitaries at the event took their turns to lay their wreaths after the President.
Mr Buhari was followed by Vice President Yemi Osibajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, who was represented at the occasion, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief Justice of Nigeria Mohammad, Minister of the Federal and Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello.
Others who took turns to at the wreath-laying event were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Navy Staff Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ibas, Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
They were followed by the representatives of the diplomatic corps, the Nigerian Legion and the widow of an officer who died while fighting the counter-insurgency war in the North-East.
Activities lined up at the ceremony included the inspection of guard by the President, movement in slow time to the National Cenotaph by firing party, reverse arms and last post by firing party and reveille, signing of the anniversary diary and releasing of pigeons by the President.
The 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day is said to be unique because of the successes recorded by the military in the North East and other parts of the country.