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Atiku absent at Armed Forces Remembrance Day

Posted by The Punch on 2005/01/18 | Views: 312 |

Atiku absent at Armed Forces Remembrance Day

The absence of the Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar became very conspicuous on Saturday during the wreath laying ceremony at the National Arcade to commemorate the Armed Forces Day.

The absence of the Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar became very conspicuous on Saturday during the wreath laying ceremony at the National Arcade to commemorate the Armed Forces Day.

The annual event held in remembrance of Nigeria's fallen heroes is a day, when state functionaries and the diplomatic community gather in solemnity to lay wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

But Atiku's absence during the ceremony set tongues wagging, with speculations that, he may have stayed away because of the rumoured cold war between him and President Olusegun Obasanjo over the the removal of Chief Audu Ogbeh as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.

However, activities marking this year’s Armed Forces and Appeal Fund Remembrance Week ended in Abuja today with President Olusegun Obasanjo laying a wreath at the national cenotaph.

With the president to lay their wreath in honour of the country’s fallen heroes were the Senate President, Speaker of the house of representatives and the Chief Justice of the Federation.

Others were the two ministers of Defence, the FCT minister, service chiefs and the inspector-general of police, the ambassador of Palestine and three widows representing fallen officers, Non-commissioned officers and men of the armed forces.

Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, still enjoying his bed rest as recommended by his doctor, was conspicuously absent at the occasion.

He was also absent from the National Council of State meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja.

His Senior Special Assistant on Media, Shuaibu Adinoyi-Ojo, in a statement on Thursday, said that on the recommendation of his doctor, Abubakar, who is suffering from exhaustion, was on bed rest.

Special prayers were offered at the occasion by the Catholic, Muslim and Protestant military clerics, who prayed for peace, stability and prosperity in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that similar special prayers were held in mosques and churches across the land during the week as part of the annual Armed Forces Remembrance Week.

Obasanjo, earlier on Sunday, was at an inter denominational church service at the ECWA church, while the vice-president was at the Central Mosque, Abuja on Friday.

The Minister of Defence, Dr Rabi’u Kwankwaso, Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu as well as the Head of Service to the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, were also among dignitaries that attended the special Friday prayers.

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