Veteran soldiers and war heroes who paid the supreme price while defending the peace and unity of Nigeria were on Monday remembered and celebrated as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu performed the wreath-laying ceremony with other dignitaries to mark the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day(AFRD) celebration in Abuja. This was the first time President Tinubu laid
Veteran soldiers and war heroes who paid the supreme price while defending the peace and unity of Nigeria were on Monday remembered and celebrated as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu performed the wreath-laying ceremony with other dignitaries to mark the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day(AFRD) celebration in Abuja.
This was the first time President Tinubu laid the wreath for the AFRD. He performed the wreath-laying ceremony with other dignitaries. The AFRD celebration is organised on 15 January yearly to commemorate Nigerians’ fallen heroes part of the celebration also include prayers, gun salutes, and releasing pigeons at the National Arcade, Eagle Square, Abuja.
The event had in attendance all the service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, and heads of other security agencies, among others, who also took their turns to lay wreaths.
Senate President, Speaker House of Representatives, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Minister of State for Defence and the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria also honoured the fallen heroes by laying down their wreaths.
The President thereafter signed the register of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration before his symbolic release of white pigeons.
The President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Godswill Akpabio, had on Sunday commended Nigerians for their resilience amid economic challenges. He spoke at the 2024 Remembrance Day Church Service for the fallen soldiers.
His words: “It is an immense honor to stand before this gathering of the faithful as we collectively reflect, pray for, and pay tribute to our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to uphold peace and security in our beloved nation in particular and the world in general.
“Today, we also remember our veterans, the brave men and women of the Armed Forces who consistently find themselves in harm’s way while safeguarding Nigeria.
“We remember these heroes and heroines, holding firmly to the promise of our National Anthem that their labours shall not be in vain.
“Just as the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity, the blood of these courageous countrymen and women is and continues to be the seed of our unity and progress as a nation.
”It is our solemn duty to ensure that they did not die in vain by promoting the peace and unity of Nigeria.
“Nigeria, this great nation, is populated by people of diverse faiths. Whether Christians, Muslims, or followers of other religions, Nigerians share a deep-rooted belief in God and the power of prayers.
“It is no small feat that despite the challenges plaguing our nation, our people remain united as one entity – Nigeria.
“This is a testament to the resilient spirit of unity that defines us, transcending our diversity in culture, religion, and tribe.
“The unity of Nigeria came at a great price. The sustenance and defense of this unity rests on the shoulders of the men and women of the Armed Forces, and the true weight of loss is carried by the families and dependents of these fallen heroes.
“If only we could share the pain they feel, then we would truly understand the imperative of eschewing insecurity and violence in all its forms.
“Wars often start from avoidable unrest and small sparks of conflict that, when left unaddressed, escalate into full-blown catastrophes.
“War destroys lives, livelihoods, cripples economies, promotes vice, and results in environmental degradation.
“We must place the unity of our nation above selfish and sectional interests by guarding our words and being accommodating to our diversity, while remaining sensitive to the plight of others.”
Across the country, state governors and other dignitaries also performed several rites to mark the day.