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Leaders honours fallen soldiers as Nigeria mark arm forces remembrance day

Leaders honours fallen soldiers as Nigeria mark arm forces remembrance day
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday in Abuja led government officials and service chiefs to lay wreaths in honour of Nigerian soldiers who died in active service News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is an annual event held every January 15 in honour of fallen heroes who lost their lives during the Nigerian civil war and the first and second world wars.

At the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Remembrance Arcade at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos restated the state government's commitment to the welfare of members of the Nigerian Legion.

Already, he said, N5 million had been provided by the administration to support the families of the fallen heroes and the Nigerian Legion.

Apart from the wreaths laying ceremony, the President used the opportunity to make video conference calls to Nigerian troops in the battle fields in Sambisa Forest, Yola in Adamawa and to those serving in UN Peace Mission in Liberia.

Leaders honours fallen soldiers as Nigeria mark arm forces remembrance day

The President, speaking first to the Nigerian troops fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in Sambisa Forest in Borno, saluted their courage and urged them to continue to maintain discipline and efficiency they were known for. “your success was received spontaneously by all Nigerians. I congratulate you and I thank you very much for the honour you have done to the country and to us, well done. I wish your families are all well and are getting in touch with you.

“Please maintain the standard of discipline and efficiency. Thank you very much indeed.''

He also addressed members of the Nigerian battalion serving with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia.

He congratulated the soldiers and wished them a successful mission abroad..

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nigerian troops in Liberia will be the last batch of UN Peacekeeping Mission in that country as UN peace mission in Liberia would end in 2018.

Thereafter,President Buhari spoke via the video conference gadgets with the Commander of the Air Force Base in Yola, Charles Owoh, who is also the Air Commander, Operation, Lafiya Dole.

The president lauded the performance of the Air Force in the ongoing fight against insurgency in the North East. “I get regular briefing from your Chief of Air Staff. Your performance speaks for itself and you have raised the morale of your colleagues in the military, especially the army.

“With your hi-tech performance and platforms, we have been able to restore the sanity and the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

Leaders honours fallen soldiers as Nigeria mark arm forces remembrance day

“I am very pleased with the initiative that you have taken in maintenance of equipment. It is very encouraging and a boost to our morale here. I congratulate you and please pass my message to your families that we are very cautious of their patience and anxiety whenever you are in the field. Thank you very much indeed.

Other dignitaries who performed the wreaths laying ceremony at the event include Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, acting Chief Judge of the Federation and Justice Walter Samuel Onoghen.

Others are the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, service chiefs, Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Mikah Gaya, members of the diplomatic corps and other prominent citizens.

Special prayers were also offered in honour of the fallen heroes.

The 9 Brigrade commander, Sani Mohammed, while speaking with journalists, said the remembrance day was in remembrance of the fallen heroes — soldiers who lost their lives in serving the nation particularly in war time.

Also speaking, the State Commandant of the Nigerian Legion, Samuel Akande, expressed satisfaction over the success of the remembrance day, adding that the governor had always contributed to the development of the legion.

“Nigerian Legion is using this opportunity to thank Governor. Ambode for all the provisions and care for the legion.

“He gave us N5 million and also promised two vehicles one of which has been provided,” he said.

The highlight of the celebration was the laying of wreaths by Mr. Ambode, officers and others in honour of the fallen heroes.

As usual, the occasion also witnessed gun salutes and release of pigeons.

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