The annual Armed Forces Remembrance Day was celebrated across the 36 states of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday.
The event, which involves laying of wreaths at the National Arcade in Abuja and various parade ground in states, was the climax of the main activities lined up to celebrate the armed forces in 2022.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a day set aside every year to celebrate personnel of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Police who have died in the line of duty.
The event is also used to honour veterans still alive and as a medium for soliciting financial, moral and material support for the families of the fallen heroes.
It is usually celebrated on January 15, there are however usually activities lined up about a week to the day to commemorate the remembrance.
In Abuja, the nation’s capital, President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, led the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, members of National Assembly, service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps to honour the nation’s fallen and living heroes.
The event, which involved laying of wreaths at the National Arcade in Abuja, was the climax of the main activities lined up to celebrate the 2022 anniversary.
First to lay the wreath was the President, followed by the Vice President, the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief Justice of Nigeria.
In another order, the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi and his Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Mohammed Bello, laid the wreaths.
Thereafter, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor; the Chief of Army staff, Faruk Yahaya; Chief of Air Staff, Isiaka Amao and Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo, performed the exercise.
Other dignitaries, who also performed the wreath-laying ceremony are members of the diplomatic corps and their representatives as well as Nigerian Legion and widows of late officer/soldiers represented by Aisha Lemu.
Mr Buhari, thereafter, signed the anniversary register and released the ceremonial pigeon as a symbol of national peace.
Here is how some other states celebrated the event:
In Zamfara State, the governor, Bello Matawalle, expressed appreciation to the security forces for the achievements so far recorded in the fight against banditry and kidnapping in the North-west.
He said through the efforts of the security forces, the state government had rescued 1,897 victims abducted by bandits and kidnappers in the state.
Mr Matawalle applauded the Nigerian Armed Forces and their sister agencies in the state for what he described as exceptional contributions in the effort to restore law and order in Zamfara.
He, however, appealed to the security agencies to be more proactive and remain professional in the discharge of their duties, urging them to adhere to and operate within the extant local and international laws guiding security operations by showing compassion and respect to all law-abiding citizens.
In Ekiti, the governor, Kayode Fayemi, restated the need to provide support for retired soldiers as well as families of armed forces personnel killed in the fight against insurgency, banditry and other crimes.
The governor said Nigerians owe families of fallen heroes a duty of care, support and prayers at all times to ameliorate their pains and loss.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for improving the pension and service entitlement of armed forces personnel.
Mr Fayemi emphasised the need to provide required materials, equipment and financial assistance for the armed forces to enable their personnel at the warfront to win the battle against insurgency, banditry and other criminal acts in the country.
In Ondo, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said his administration has disbursed N7.5 million revolving loans to 52 widows of fallen heroes in the state.
The governor said the gesture was to assist the widows of the fallen heroes so that they would less dependent on the society for survival.
He commended the military for its efforts in the fight against terrorism, banditry and other criminal elements in the country.
He called on the people to complement government’s efforts by donating generously towards the well-being of the legionnaires and also by employing the services of members who are still fit in productive enterprises.
In Lagos State, the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the efforts and sacrifices of the fallen heros had not been in vain, as the state government had been supporting the soldiers to keep the territorial integrity of the nation secured.
Mr Sanwo-Olu laid the wreath to commemorate this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, and the military parade was followed by a traditional 21 gun-salute to honour the valour of the departed service personnel.
After laying the wreath, he said that the sacrifice made by the fallen heroes was supreme and marked the symbol of the nation’s unity.
The governor charged members of the armed forces to continue to uphold the fine traditions bequeathed to the military by the departed soldiers.
In Osun, the governor, Gboyega Oyetola, described the Armed Forces Remembrance Day as a day of sober reflection on the sacrifices of the soldiers for a united country.
He noted that the heroes, in the quest for sustaining unity and collective sovereignty, paid the supreme sacrifice to keep the country united, indivisible and peaceful.
The governor said his administration was fully committed to further encouraging members of the armed forces through diverse interventions.
He added that his administration would continue to raise the bar in the provision of qualitative governance in a manner that improved the living standard of the people.
In Kogi State, the governor, Yahaya Bello, after laying the wreath reiterated his administration’s commitment and support to the servicemen and families of the fallen heroes.
Mr Bello said that his administration would continue to prioritise security of all citizens and residents of the state, noting that the welfare and logistic support to servicemen in the state remained paramount.
“The labour of the fallen heroes who paid the ultimate price to keep the country together shall never be in vain.
“And the only way to ensure that is for the government at all levels to rise up in ensuring a peaceful society,” Mr Bello said
Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on his part called on Nigerians to appreciate the sacrifices of the armed forces by engaging in acts that promote peace and harmony in the country.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Oko Chukwu, said that Nigerians should show greater commitment toward nation’s peace and unity.
He said that the occasion ought to serve as a solemn reminder of the need for Nigerians to resolve and renew their commitment to continue to live in unity.
According to him, the gallantry of the nation’s fallen heroes cannot easily be erased because it has been engraved into the nation’s existence.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State enjoined Nigerians to remember the sacrifices of the fallen heroes by supporting their families.
Mr Yahaya, represented by Deputy Governor Manassah Jatau, said that fallen heroes had made sacrifices for Nigerians to be free from insecurity, fear, unhappiness and other forms of misery.
According to him, the ceremony is to remember veterans, fallen heroes and a sign of respect towards particular tribute to the heroes who have paid the supreme price for the peace of the country.
The governor also appealed to Nigerians to support security agencies with relevant and timely information as a way of contributing to the solution of insecurity.
WATCH: Governor Yahaya Bello's Roadmap to Hope 2023