The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a day set aside every year to remember gallant men of the Armed Forces who laid their lives in the line of duty. It is also a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I and II as well as the Nigeria Civil War.
Being a former British colony, Remembrance Day was formerly celebrated on 11th November, but upon the government victory against the Biafran troops on 15th January, 1970, the day was moved off the calendar of the Commonwealth of Nations and changed to 15th January of every year.
The Legion Chairman in Odukpani Local Government Area Staff Sergeant Etim Okon (Rtd) expressed his profound gratitude to God for His mercies and divine protection. He enumerated the sacrifices the men of the force in ensuring the protection of Nigeria, and countries like Sudan, Liberia, and Sierra Leone including the Boko Haram and Herdsmen challenges.
He thanked the Chairman and her cabinet for organizing the Remembrance Day for them. “Some of our Legion members in some Local Government Areas in the State informed me of the inability of their Chairmen to organize the event for them but here in Odukpani, we are delighted because today, our sacrifices are remembered as you honor us today. I plead that you keep the flag flying high” he said.
To honor this event in the annals of the Council, the Chairman Hon. (Mrs.) Justina Edem today laid a wreath at the renovated Local Government Cenotaph at the local government Headquarters.
Prior to this symbolic event, the Chairman of Council in her speech welcomed all legion members, and invited guests to the Remembrance Day celebration. She considered it an honor as they came out to grace the event within their crowded schedule.
She stated that the glamorous event will not merely be celebrated just for today, but for all times to come. The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a day set aside to honor the unknown soldiers and the veterans of the First and Second World War, the Nigerian Civil War and those that participated in the peace keeping operation in all parts of the world.
As we know, the path they had chosen was full of hazards, as all paths are; yet theirs is the one most consistent with the ideals of keeping our Nation safe. She went on to reiterate that the cost of freedom is always high, and that these people have always paid it, many times to a point that they neglect the existence of their comfort by tirelessly surrendering their lives in service and defense of our Country’s gates.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you would agree with me that this country has since Independence been ravaged by several socio- political and religious crises, which includes and not limited to the Nigerian Civil War, the Niger Delta Militancy, the Boko Haram Insurgency, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra and other ethnic and religious unrest, to mention a few”, she said.
Mrs. Edem stated that “as we celebrate their fearlessness and determination, I wish that they will continue to have an uncommon place of respect in our Nation’s heart, even as we continue to appreciate those in service at the time”.
The wreath were laid by the Chairman of Council Hon. (Mrs.) Justina Edem, The Vice Chairman Hon Enefiok Inyang, the Commissioner for Finance Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong, Odukpani Legion Chairman Staff Sergeant Etim Okon (Rtd), MD of Obudu Ranch Hon (Chief) Bobby Ekpenyong, Paramount Ruler of Odukpani HRM Etinyin Otu Asuquo Otu Mesembe, the DPO of Odukpani SP Essien Efoli, The DCO of NSCDC in Odukpani SP Ofor Bassey.
The event had in attendance the SA to the Governor Mr Eyo Ita, The DG of Greater Calabar Capital City Development Authority Mr Kingsley Ita Ikpeme, the HOLGA Evang. Ekpenyong Esuabana, Councilors, political appointees, Council Staff amongst others.