By KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA—President Goodluck Jonathan, Tuesday, led others, including Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President and Service Chiefs in laying wreath to commemorate the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance day.
The ceremony ended one month of activities lined up to mark the day which included fund raising for the veterans.
The activities started December last year with President Jonathan, launching the emblem appeal fund for the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
The wreath laying started with the arrival of the President who is also the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion, at about 10.00 am at the National Arcade Three Arms Zone.
The President’s arrival was followed by the inspection of parade in four colours; the National and the three regimental colours of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
Prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the departed fallen heroes and for peace, security and unity of the nation in both the Christian and Islamic way.
After the prayers, the President began with the laying of wreath, followed by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President, Sen. David Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
Others who participated were, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada and FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh also took their turns in the wreath laying.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, the Acting Dean of the Diplomatic Corp and the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Nigeria, Mrs. Olumba Kombe, as well as the Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Col. Micah Gayya (rtd) also laid wreaths.
There was 21-gun salute and the President later released the pigeons which signified unity, peace and harmony for the country.
The annual event is in honour and remembrance of the fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for the liberty of the nation and to appreciate those who survived various wars.
The armed forces remembrance day is globally celebrated every December 11. It however holds every January 15 in Nigeria because of the significance of the date to the nation. January 15 is also the day the Biafra War ended with the concept of “no victor, no vanquish” and the beginning of national re-integration.
In attendance at the ceremony were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Ministers, the embattled National Chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, top Presidential aides and members of the Nigerian Legion and some of the widows of the departed heroes.