Molly Kilete and Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The 2019 Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebrations came to an end in Abuja, yesterday, with the laying of wreaths at the national cenotaph by President Muhammadu Buhari and other top dignitaries.
Buratai, who arrived the venue of the wreath-laying ceremony at 11:07am, was received by the commander, Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Tamar Musa, in company with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Etete Ibas and then Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The president, upon his arrival, inspected the parade mounted by the Armed Forces and the Nigerian legion.
The wreath-laying ceremony started with prayers from the Director, Champlain Services of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General C. C Oroegbo, who prayed for the peace and unity of the country and for God to protect members of the armed forces as they they continue in their fight against the enemies.
On his part, Chaplain of Islamic Affairs of the Navy prayed for the widows of the fallen hero’s and their children they left behind.
He also prayed to God to erase evil on the minds of Nigerians against president Buhari.
Also, Director, Chaplain Services of the Nigerian Air Force, Group Captain Dogo prayed to God to propel the armed forces to lead the nation to greater heights and prayed against anything that would cause the nation to separate.
The ceremony started at exactly 11:28am, with president Buhari taking the lead.
He was followed by his deputy, Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara, Onnoghen, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Mohammed Bello, Olonisakin, Buratai, Abubakar, Ibas and Idris; in that order.
A representative of the Diplomatic Corps, chairman of the Nigerian Legion and widow of late Lieutenant Colonel Abu-Ali, Semira, also participated in the wreath-laying ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has congratulated the military on the Armed Forces Remembrance day.
The umbrella body of Nigerian doctors said only the bravery of Nigerian soldiers could have safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria amidst several threats by outside forces.
NMA President, Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile, said in a statement released in Abuja, yesterday, that government must rise to the needs of the families of soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifices with their lives to keep Nigeria united.
The statement, which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Obitade Obimakinde, urged government not to relent in its support to the armed forces in terms of human and material resources needed for security of Nigerians.