President Muhammed Buhari made the call at the National Arcade on Friday via digital devices and live streaming equipment improvised by the Nigerian Army to enable him chat with soldiers at the war front in the far Northeast, as the military marks the Armed Forces Remembrance Day today january 15. The event is marked to honour the veterans who are alive as well as the families of the departed.
Other government officials who joined the President in laying of wreaths were the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibajo, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
A minute silence in honour of the fallen heroes was also observed before President Buhari laid the presidential wreath after which he released pigeons and the balloons signifying the unfettered peace in the country.
As everyone watched on, President Buhari, in a new innovation, put a call across to the Nigerian soldiers in the war front, a call that was saluted with a joyous roar from the soldiers.
For more than six years Nigerian Armed Forces have battled Boko Haram terrorists mostly in the north-east States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and their activities have displaced over two million persons. this call would go a long way to boosting the long drawn-out battle for the nation’s peace.
January 15 of every year is always celebrated with pomp and pageantry because it has been set aside to celebrate fallen heroes of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
On this day, fallen heroes as well as veterans, who put their lives on the line as they fought in and through the first and second world wars, the Nigeria Civil War and peace support missions. Are honoured and remembered.
In Nigeria, the event was initially marked with a National Holiday on November 12 and later on the November 11 (popularly known as 11-11 or poppy day) so that it coincided with the World War II Veterans’ Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Much later, it had to be changed to January 15 in memory of the end of the Nigeria Civil War in 1970.
This year, it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first military coup by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and four other majors on January 15, 1966. The coup triggered a chain of other events that eventually snowballed into the fratricidal war of 1967 to 1970.