17 January 2013

Nigeria: Last Year's Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblems Used in Kano

Kano — Troops and dignitaries at the Kano venue of this year's Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration Tuesday could not wear the 2013 emblems for the occasion because the badge was not available in the state. Instead, they were issued with old emblems that were produced for the event last year, Daily Trust observed.

The decades-old tradition of honouring Nigerian soldiers, who lost their lives in various theatres of conflicts, is flagged off every year with the launching of the year's emblem, which is sold to generate revenue for the Nigerian Legion.

The symbol is worn by government officials for a week long period, until January 15 when the president and state governors lay wreaths as a national event at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

But in Kano those used by many dignitaries and soldiers on parade at the remembrance theatre turned up wearing 2012 emblems.

Our correspondent gathered that it was the first in the history of the yearly event that such a development was witnessed. Shortly before the commencement of the Remembrance Day parade at Malam Kato Square on Tuesday, officials of the state Directorate of Youths Development launched a last ditch effort to correct the anomaly by using white inks to change the year to 2013.

Daily Trust learnt from officials of the directorate that the state did not receive its share of the symbol from Abuja this year for unknown reasons.

An officer who does not wish to be named said it was in an effort to prevent a situation where military men and retired soldiers would not adorn the emblems at the occasion that they resorted to using old ones. But when contacted, the director of administration in the Directorate of Youths Development, Sani Bashir, said the old emblems were used because the one produced for this year were of low quality.

Bashir, however, said the directorate had ensured that the dates on the badges had been corrected.

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