Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, collapsed into the hands of military officers on Tuesday at unexpected sounds of artillery fire in celebration of the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Abuja.
There was no announcement, as is usual on such an occasion, before the artillery fire rented the air. The development was said to have startled the minister, who slumped, before her military aides jumped to her rescue.
After about 10 minutes, Obada came back to lay a wreath at the Remembrance Arcade.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in Abuja led leaders of the legislative and Judiciary arms of government, the military and para-military to perform the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day wreath laying ceremony.
Jonathan took the salute shortly on arrival, after which he inspected a parade in four colours – the National and the three regimental colours of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
Prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes and for peace, security and unity of the nation in both the Christians and Islamic way.
The ceremony, which held at the National Arcade in the Three Arms Zone, Abuja started at 10am with President Jonathan, who is also the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion, receiving a general salute upon his arrival.
January 15 of every year is set aside to honour and remember those who fought to keep the country as one in the Nigerian civil war.
It was formally marked on Nov. 11 of every year to coincide with the Remembrance Day (Poppy Day) for the World War II veterans in the British Commonwealth of Nations.
But it was changed to January 15 of every year in Nigeria in commemoration of the surrender of Biafran troops to the Federal troops on Jan. 15, 1970 thus signalling the end of the Nigerian Civil War.
The day is marked by with a Remembrance Day parade at the Cenotaph in Abuja and in the 36 state capitals.