Nigeria inaugurates committee for Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration

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From left: Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris at the Wreath Laying Ceremony to mark the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the National Arcade in Abuja.

The Nigerian Government on Friday in Abuja inaugurated a 25-man National Planning Committee for the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC).

The 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration Planning Committee is headed by Maj.-Gen. Edmond Obi.

The Remembrance Day is an annual event marked on Jan. 15 of every year in commemoration of the nation’s departed compatriots and living heroes.

It is organised by the Ministry of Defence on behalf of the Federal Government in honour of members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), who participated in the first and second World wars.

It is also in honour of the AFN that participated in the Nigeria Civil War and various peace support operations across the world.

Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, who inaugurated the committee, said the event is organised to specifically honour and celebrate members of AFN.

“The event is organised to specifically honored and celebrate those that have laid down their lives in the defence of our territorial integrity and promotion of global peace.

“It is also to honour those that have suffered various setbacks as a consequence of their participation in war,” she said.

“It is gratifying that globally, the Armed Forces Remembrance Day or Veterans Day is celebrated annually, within Commonwealth Countries, the 11th of November, fondly referred to as 11:11 is annually commemorated as Veterans Day.

“However, the Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Nigeria was changed to Jan.15 in commemoration of the nation’s unfortunate Civil War, which started in 1967 and ended officially on Jan.15 1970,”she said.

“We must appreciate the sacrifices of the Nigerian soldiers and remind ourselves of the families they left behind, who need our care and love,” Batagarawa said.

She, then, urged the committee members to commit themselves to making this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration exceptional, by coming up with laudable innovations for improving the lots of the families of the departed compatriots and living heroes.

In his remarks, Obi counts it a privilege to be the chairman of the 2019 AFRDC, noting that the task of planning and executing the yearly event is challenging, “as attested to by those saddled with the responsibility in the past.

“It is not just the laying of wreath at the National Arcade, but comprises a series of activities spanning a period of time commencing from now and climax with a ceremonial parade and wreath laying on Jan.15, 2019,” he said.

The chairman explained that the AFRDC is an event that involves eminent Nigerians as well as members of the Diplomatic Community and the general public.

He said that the committee would involve the youths and school children in some of the activities of the armed forces Remembrance Day celebration.

Obi pledged to give the planning and execution of the event their best efforts.