Nigeria remembers its fallen heroes on January 15.
President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Wednesday led leaders of the executive, legislature and judiciary as well as military and para-military organisations to honour Nigeria’s fallen heroes.
The President and the others performed the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day wreath laying ceremony at the National Arcade in Abuja The annual ceremony started at 10 a.m. with the arrival at the arcade by the president, who is also the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion.
Upon the arrival of the president, there was a general salute, rendition of the National Anthem and inspection of parade in four colours.
The four colours parade were the national colour and the three regimental colours of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force.
Prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of departed heroes; and for peace, security, and unity of Nigeria by Christians and Muslims.
Shortly after the prayers, the president laid a wreath, followed by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
Others who also laid wreaths were the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukhtar; the Minister of Information and Supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku; and the Abuja Minister, Bala Mohammed.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Ola Ibrahim; Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Naval Staff, Dele Ezeoba; and Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh also laid wreaths.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar; Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and the High Commissioner of Cameroon to Nigeria, Abbas Saludeen; and the Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Micah Gayya also laid wreaths.
After the wreath laying, military and para-military men on parade commanded by David Erasmus, fired guns and saluted. The president thereafter released white pigeons, which signifies freedom, unity, peace and harmony for the country.
The annual ceremony is in honour and remembrance of fallen heroes, who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and unity of the country. The ceremony is also meant to appreciate members of the Armed Forces, who survived various wars.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is globally celebrated on December 11.
It, however, holds on January 15 in Nigeria, the day of the first military coup in the country as well as the date that the Nigerian civil war ended.
The ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, ministers and other senior government officials.
Also in attendance were members of the armed forces and their wives, members of the Nigerian Legion and some widows of the departed heroes.