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Tinubu, Akpabio, others honour nation's fallen, living heroes in celebration of AFRD

Tinubu, thereafter, signed the anniversary register and released the ceremonial pigeons as a symbol of national peace and freedom.

Godswill-Akpabio-and-Bola-Tinubu [Punch Newspapers]

The event, which involved laying of wreath at the National Arcade in Abuja, was the climax of activities for the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC). First to lay the wreath was the President, followed by the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

The wreath was also laid by Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammed Badaru, his Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Nyesome Wike and the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle.

They were followed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa; Chiefs of Army, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla and Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.

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Other dignitaries, who also performed the wreath-laying ceremony, are members of the diplomatic corps, Nigerian Legion and the widows of late officers and soldiers represented by the President, Military Widows Association (MIWA), Veronica Aluko.

There was also the firing of three volleys in honour of the fallen heroes which has its origin in the old custom of halting fighting in the warfront to remove the dead from the battlefield. Tinubu, thereafter, signed the anniversary register and released the ceremonial pigeons as a symbol of national peace and freedom.

The celebration started with series of activities including Jumma’at prayer on January 12, at the National Mosque and Interdenominational Christian service on January 14. This year’s celebration also featured sporting activities such as golf tournament and paintball combat competition organised by the Defence Headquarters among other activities.

The AFRDC is celebrated globally to recognise and appreciate the sacrifices made by citizens for the cause of peace. In Nigeria, January 15 is set aside annually to honour the fallen heroes who laid down their lives in service to humanity during the first and second world wars, Nigerian civil war, peace missions and various internal security operations.

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.

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