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2023: Military Pledges Defence For Democracy

Forty days to this year’s presidential election, the Nigerian military has assured that it will shield democracy and ensure its sustenance by guaranteeing peaceful conduct of the election.

Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who made the pledge Sunday in Abuja ruled out the possibility of the military taking over power in Nigeria, saying democracy has come to stay in the country.

The CDS was fielding questions from journalists at the wreath-laying ceremony that marked the climax of the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the National Arcade, Abuja.

“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 am sure you know that the police are on the lead.

“I have been discussing with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and of course, we have also made contingencies should we be required to give support to the police as the election is conducted.

“I think for Nigerians, you are rest assured that the armed forces remain solidly behind the police to be able to give them all the support as required,” he said.

Buhari, Osinbajo, CJN, govs hail fallen heroes

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has led other senior members of the government to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony that marked the climax of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.

Buhari, who inspected the Guard of Honour, accompanied by the Commander, Brigade of Guards, Major General Muhammad Takuti Usman, at the National Arcade, later proceeded to the Cenotaph for the wreath-laying ceremony.

Among the dignitaries that laid wreaths after the president were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

Buhari, who also performed the symbolic freeing of white doves out of the cage during the event as a symbol of national peace and freedom after signing the anniversary register, had the 2023 wreath-laying ceremony as his last as commander-in-chief.

There was also the firing of three volleys in honour of the fallen heroes which has its origin in the old custom of halting fighting on the war front to remove the dead from the battlefield.

Also in attendance were members of the Federal Executive Council, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Major General Babagana Monguno, amongst others.

While speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Kana, assured serving, retired and families of deceased military personnel of the federal government’s commitment to ensure improvement in their welfare and wellbeing.

He said the government would continue to remember their sacrifices and ensure that the injured were given adequate and better medical care.

The chairman, Nigerian Legion, Maj.-Gen. Abdul-Malik Jibril (rtd), commended President Buhari for his commitment to the welfare and well-being of military veterans.

He said the government had done a lot for the veterans, adding that there was no military veteran that would complain of non-payment of his or her entitlements.

He however called on the government to continue to improve their welfare and attend to their requests whenever the need arose.

The president, Military Widows Association, Mrs Veronica Aluko, called on Nigerians to continue to support widows of fallen heroes through the association.

She commended the government for its commitment to alleviating the situation of the widows, urging it not to relent. The French Defence Attaché to Nigeria, Col. Guillaume Dujon, expressed delight with the celebration, saying his country shared a similar military tradition with Nigeria.

He said Nigeria and France had maintained cordial military relations over the years, adding that France had been offering support to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism in the North East.

Show love to families of fallen heroes – Abiodun

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, during the celebration of the day at the Arcade ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, called on Nigerians to always show love and appreciation to the families of fallen heroes who laid their lives for the country.

He asked Nigerians to inculcate a daily habit of showing love and appreciation to the families of the fallen heroes, saying without them the country would not have enjoyed peace, order and socio-economic development.

The governor also harped on peaceful co-existence and inter-party tolerance ahead of the next elections in the state.

He warned that anybody, no matter highly placed, would be dealt with if found culpable in electoral violence.


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Copyright 2023 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to and other relevant sources.

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