Tinubu, Akpabio, Ariwoola, Abbas, Abiodun, Sanwo-Olu, AbdulRazaq, Makinde, others lay wreaths, salute gallant security officers


President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, led the leadership of the National Assembly, Judiciary, the Armed Forces and other critical stakeholders, to honour the country’s living and fallen heroes at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, situated at the National Arcade, Abuja.

The 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony was the climax of the activities, which began with the launch of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem last October.

On hand to witness the ceremony were the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio; Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas; Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola.

Others at the wreath-laying ceremony were the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, who led all the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police, among others, to grace the occasion to honour the country’s departed heroes.

Christian and Muslim prayers were offered by the Services’ clergymen for the living and peaceful repose of the souls of the departed heroes, who fought gallantly for global peace.

This was followed by the observance of a minute silence.

President Tinubu led the wreath-laying ceremony accompanied by the Commander, Guards Brigade at the foot of the Unknown Soldier.

This was followed by the President of the Senate, Speaker House of Representatives, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Minister of the FCT, Minister of State for Defence, and the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria.

The Service Chiefs as well as Inspector General of Police among others took their turns to lay wreaths, respectively.

Ceremonial volleys were fired by armed soldiers as part of the activities performed at military ceremonies.

The event culminated in the signing of the anniversary register by President Tinubu before his symbolic release of white pigeons to signify peace.

Nigeria ‘ll rise again, says Governor Abiodun

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called on Nigerians to have faith in the current political system, the government and its leaders, saying the country is on the verge of rising again.

He also called on them to shun all acts of violence or acts that do not define them as a people.

The governor stated these during the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, held at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Governor Abiodun also called on Nigerians to continue to be their brother’s keeper, urging them to stay away from sowing discord among themselves.

The governor urged Nigerians to subscribe to the spirit of nation-building and nationalism while supporting the families of fallen heroes.

“Let us eschew the spirit of brotherhood amongst ourselves. Let us uphold the spirit of not just nationhood but optimism. Let us have faith in our system, our government, and our leaders. Nigeria is on the verge of rising again.

“For those of us that are not privileged or bold enough to join the Armed Forces, we should subscribe to nation-building and patriotism.

“We should not be the ones that continue to sow the seed of discord amongst ourselves. We should not begin to fan the flame of discord amongst ourselves; let us be our brother’s keeper.

“Let us shun all acts of violence or acts that do not define us as a people, acts that do not define us as citizens of the biggest conglomeration of black people on the continent,” he said.

Governor Abiodun charged Nigerians to show an act of kindness to the patriots who paid the ultimate price for defending the territorial integrity of the country by reaching out to the families they left behind, saying that the government cannot do it alone.

The highlight of the event included the release of pigeons to signify peace and the laying of wreath by Governor Abiodun, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, the Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Micheal Adedotun Gbadebo.

Others were the Akarigbo and Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona who was represented by the Orimolusi of Ijebu-Igbo, Oba Lawrence Adebajo.

Sanwo-Olu salutes gallant soldiers, fallen heroes

Also, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, on Monday, commended the gallantry of serving Nigerian military officers and fallen heroes for protecting the nation.

Sanwo-Olu gave the commendation during the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony, held at The Remembrance Arcade, Tafawa Balewa Square, in honour of fallen heroes.

He said the ceremony, which climaxed celebration of the Year 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, was a yearly routine to recognize and honour fallen heroes and members of Armed Forces, who had served Nigeria in one form or the other.

According to him, the government will continue to appreciate and encourage the Armed Forces.

The governor said the occasion had become a “National Day to pray for the departed souls, the incapacitated security personnel and serving military officers, their families and Nigeria”.

“It is a day to continue to remember them, to remember their families and the loved ones that they left behind. We will continue to pray for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes.

“We will continue to commit their families into God’s Hands.

“It is a significant day wherein the government, if not all Nigerians, appreciate all of their efforts and what they have done; and for the serving officers to know that the country will continue to appreciate their gallant works, even while they are alive or even when they pass on,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said the event was an opportunity to appreciate the efforts of fallen heroes and security personnel.

“It is an occasion where the nation comes together to recognize and acknowledge all of our fallen heroes, our gallant soldiers that have indeed, served this country in one form or the other for decades, as well as protected it,” he said.

Highlights of the event were the gun salutes, the release of white pigeons, as well as a-minute silence observed in honour of the fallen heroes.

Also, prayers were offered for the soldiers, as well as members of the Armed Forces, their families, Lagos State Government and Nigeria.

Kwara Governor salutes gallant security officers

Similarly, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Monday joined other eminent Kwarans, heads of security agencies, and the Nigeria Legion to lay the wreath in honour of the fallen and serving men of the Armed Forces for their tremendous services to the country.

“The first and most important thing is to appreciate our Armed Forces for the sacrifices they have rendered (and still rendering) during the first and second world wars and internal security operations up till today,” the Governor told reporters in Ilorin at an event to celebrate the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

The Governor also thanked the security agencies for their excellent roles in special operations in some parts of the state.

“They hardly sleep at night in the barracks, bushes, and offices. We have to appreciate them, and we equally appreciate their families, their tremendous roles, and how they contribute generously to the efforts to rehabilitate some of them.

“In Kwara (in particular), we appreciate the Armed Forces. They are doing a yeoman’s job. We thank them for their services all over Nigeria to make the country safe and peaceful. Let us be united in Nigeria,” he said.

Other dignitaries who also laid the wreath at the event included the State Chief Judge, Justice Abiodun Adebara; heads of security agencies; representative of the Speaker Kwara House of Assembly and House Leader, Oba Magaji; representative of Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mary Arinde; Commissioner for Social Development, Kemi Afolashade; representative of the Emir of Ilorin, Sheikh AbdulRahman Kelani; Chairman of the Nigeria Legion Kwara State branch, retired Brigadier General Abdulkadir Anigiobi; Vice Chancellor University of Ilorin Wahab Egbewole; Chief Medical Director University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Yusuf Abdullahi; and Hajia Ramat Salaudeen, a widow of one of the fallen heroes.

Makinde tasks residents to cooperate with security agencies

On his part, Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has appealed to residents of the state to always cooperate with the security agencies and to also keep them informed of any suspicious act.

The governor stated this on Monday at the grand finale of the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, held at the Remembrance Arcade, Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

Governor Makinde, while addressing journalists at the end of the event, expressed appreciation to the officers and men of the Armed Forces for their dedication and for keeping the state and the country safe.

He promised that his administration would continue to support the widows, orphans and other dependents of the fallen heroes.

The governor, who performed the traditional wreath-laying during the celebration, equally assured the people of the state of maximum safety of lives and properties.

He said. “I want to use this opportunity to thank our service commanders, the officers and men of the Armed Forces in Oyo State, for their dedication and for keeping us safe. We are eternally grateful to them.

“For the people our fallen heroes left behind, we will continue to give them support and make life bearable for them.”

Governor Makinde also used the opportunity to give the people of Oyo State the assurance that the security agencies will continue to keep Oyo State safe.

He said, “Please cooperate with our service commanders. If you see something, say something.”

The chairman, Nigerian Legion, Oyo State Command, Deputy Commandant General Julius Ogunkojo, appreciated Governor Makinde for his generous donation and support in the course of the celebration.

He implored the government, individuals and well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of Legion members, stressing that their monthly allowances are not encouraging due to the economic situation of the country.

The ceremony witnessed the laying of wreaths at the remembrance cenotaph by Governor Makinde, the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin; the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Iyabo Yerima; and the representative of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mohood ‘Lekan Balogun.

Others were the Garrison Commander, 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Muazu; the Commander, Nigeria Air Force Station, Ibadan, Air Commodore A.G. Akinyimika; the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Police Command, Adebola Hamzat and a representative of the widows of the fallen heroes.

The occasion also witnessed the 21-gun salute in honour of the fallen heroes and the release of ceremonial pigeons by the governor, which signifies peace.

The event had in attendance the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Olanike Adeyemo and the Head of Service, Mrs. Olubunmi Oni, among other top government functionaries as well as the Legionnaires.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is an annual event marked every January 15 and organised by the Ministry of Defence to commemorate the country’s fallen heroes, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humanity during the First and Second World Wars, the Nigerian Civil War, Peace Support Operations around the world, as well as various Internal Security Operations.