• Accept civil war ended 53 years ago, Obi urges Nigerians
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, led Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lay wreaths at the National Arcade, Eagle Square, Abuja, in commemoration of the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
The ceremony was the last major military assignment Buhari would be performing as Commander-in-Chief, as he prepares to exit office after two terms on May 29.
Other dignitaries, including Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba, and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, also joined the solemn but colourful event.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is used to honour veterans still alive. It is also a medium for soliciting financial, moral and material support for the families of fallen heroes.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the Chief of Defence Staff said the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration is not a day of mourning. “It is the day that we need to give thanks to God; that men and women of this great nation once served, are serving and will continue to serve this country,” he said.
On what Nigerians should expect from members of the Armed Forces, as the country heads for another election, Irabor said: “Democracy has come to stay. Government of the people, by the people and for the people in Nigeria has come to stay.
“That is an assurance and then, of course, for the elections…I think, for Nigerians, you are rest assured that the armed forces remain solidly behind the police, to give them all the support as required.”
ALSO, the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, urged Nigerians to accept the reality that the civil war has truly ended.
Obi was speaking against the backdrop that some parts of Nigeria have continued to treat people of southern extraction with suspicion, decades after the war.
In his remarks on the anniversary, Obi said: “Today, marks 53 years since the civil war formally ended. Let us accept that the war has truly ended. Let our rallying anthem remain, ‘Though tribes and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.’
“On this day, January 15, 2023, I most sincerely pledge and commit that I will spend the rest of my life making sure that the civil war and the circumstances that led to it do not reoccur; and ensure that we build an all-inclusive and progressive society where no individual or group will be estranged, marginalised or excluded.”