The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has inaugurated a 25- man National planning committee as part of preparations to celebrate the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRD) Celebration set to hold January 15.
The Permanent Secretary MOD, Mrs. Nuratu Batagarawa, while inaugurating the committee, explained that the event was in honour of members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria who had laid down their lives in the defence of territorial integrity.
Batagarawa said the servicemen and women were also being honoured for promotion of global peace as well as those who had suffered setbacks as consequence of their participation in war.
She said: “We acknowledge the selfless sacrifices of members of the Armed Forces who have continued to lay down their lives for the unity and peace of our great nation.
“In the recent past, their bravery and gallantry have led to considerable degrading of Boko Haram insurgents in the North East. This was not achieved without supreme prices paid by our gallant officers and men, we must appreciate the sacrifices of the Nigerian soldiers and remind ourselves of the families they left behind who need care and love.
“On this note, it is my honour to declare the National Planning Committee for the year 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day inaugurated.”
The Permanent Secretary urged the committee members to commit themselves to making the celebration exceptional, by coming up with laudable innovations for improving the lots of the families of the departed heroes.
Chairman of the committee, Maj-Gen. Edmund Ben, in his acceptance speech informed that the 2019 celebration will strive to involve the youth and children in some activities of the remembrance day to instill patriotism in the younger generation of Nigerians and to “catch them young”.
“The essence is to sensitise and enlighten them to understand that the relative peace we enjoy today is as a result if the sacrifices made by the fallen heroes and the veterans still alive,” he added.
He therefore pledged to give the planning and execution of the event his best efforts.
The Armed Forces day celebration or veterans’ day celebration is celebrated annually within commonwealth countries on the 11th of November. However, the date was changed to 15th January in commemoration of the nation’s civil war.