The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Hajia Nuratu Batagarawa on Wednesday inaugurated the national planning committee for the 2020 armed forces Remembrance Day celebration at the Ship House with a charge to the committee to make it the most memorable in view of the gallantry displayed by the Nigerian military in tackling insurgency, banditry and other security threats.
She said, “Our dear country has been contending with diverse security challenges even as it grapples with the unconventional warfare waged against her by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
“Yet the country has been able to sustain her peace support efforts at the sub-regional, regional and global levels. The situation has tasked the capabilities of our armed forces with attendant losses of our gallant officers, men and women in the line of duty”.
“It is heartwarming to state that in recent times, we have witnessed a progressive return of peace particularly to the northeastern part of the country ravaged by insurgency.
“Civil institutions that were destroyed are being rebuilt while the return of normalcy to most of the affected areas has paved the way of sizeable internally displaced persons to normal life.
“The armed forces have continued to contend with the challenges of repelling pockets of sporadic incursions by insurgents who had since been degraded by superior fire power.
“Our gallant officers, men and women should be commended for the efforts in the north east, other parts of the country and the world at large.
Continuing Mrs. Batagarawa said, “The federal government places a high premium on the efforts of our gallant officers, men and women of the armed forces and would do all within its powers to honour of our departed heroes.
“While we remember them, we shall also take steps to cushion the effects of their loss on their dependants left behind. I am sure the national planning committee would deliver one of the best Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration in view of the caliber of persons brought on board.
“I also expect the committee to come up with suggestions on ways of improving the lots of the families of our departed heroes and heroines.
The planning and execution of the activities of the annual armed forces Remembrance Day celebration involves the Ministry of Defence, the Services, the Nigerian Legion and other strategic ministries, departments and agencies of government.
The armed forces Remembrance Day or Veterans Day is an international event observed globally. In Nigeria and other Commonwealth countries, the event used to be observed on the 11th of November yearly t commemorate the end of the Second World War.
However, the date was changed to January 15th annually to commemorate the end of the Nigerian civil war. The occasion involves a series of activities culminating in wreath laying ceremony by Mr. President and other dignitaries at the national cenotaph.
The 36 state governors also lay wreath simultaneously in their respective states.
The 27 member committee has Mrs. Olufunmilayo Mustapha, Director, Joint Services Department at ministry of Defence as Chairman.
Other members include Major General LF Abdullahi (DHQ), Brig Gen A Israel (Army rep), Dr. JC Alozie, Mrs. Gbemisola Adelaja, Brig Gen AJ Akpa (rtd), AVM Gbolahan Adekunle (rtd), Col Onyema Nwachukwu (Acting DDI), Group Captain I Shehu (NAF rep), Col KU Sidi (Guards Brigade rep), Navy Commander AM Idu (Navy rep), Wing Commander BI Okon (NAF), DCP Achinyan Fera (Police rep), Mrs. Franca Uzoma Olua, MWO A Muazu and Major A Akinfaderin as Secretary.
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