For the newly formed and operationalized units as well as retiring unit colors of the Nigerian Army, President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil 81 national and regimental colors on Thursday.
This was said by Onyema Nwachukwu, director of public relations for the Army, during a press conference on the Trooping and Presentation of Colours Parade on Tuesday in Abuja. The last trooping and presenting of colors parade for army forces, according to brigadier general Mr. Nwachukwu, took place in 2007.
He continued by saying that additional units had subsequently been created and put into service in accordance with the army’s expanding operational responsibilities and the requirements of its current Order of Battle (ORBAT).According to him, after ten years of service, colors are typically removed.
According to him, most of the colours in the Nigerian Army have been used in multiple operations in various geopolitical zones of the country as well as foreign countries, hence deserving retirement and the presentation of new ones.
“It is against this backdrop and in line with the traditions, customs and ethics of the Nigerian Army, trooping and presentation of colours parade 2023 will be conducted to retire torn or worn out colours.
“A total of 81 units will, therefore, be participating in the parade; 53 colours will be due for retirement, while 28 will be presented to new units.
The event is a unique ceremony not only to the units eligible for colour presentation, as many are looking up to this ceremony to witness the height of military discipline and regimentation.
“No doubt the parade will win more admirers for the Nigerian Army as it will provide another opportunity to showcase its reputation for excellent and colourful parades,” he said. According to him, Mr Buhari is the special guest of honour and reviewing officer in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“The event will also have in attendance members of the National and Executive Council, members of the Diplomatic Corps and Governors of the States benefitting Units.Others are Service Chiefs, past Chief of Army Staff, senior military officers both serving and retired, captains of industries as well as other important dignitaries,” he said.
Mr Nwachukwu explained that the national and regimental colours carried by army units during parades and ceremonial activities were an important source of identity and pride not only for the units involved but for the army and the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
He added that the sight of the colours created a feeling of pride in soldiers and ex-soldiers. He said from ancient history, colours had served as inspiration for heroic acts of self-sacrifice and became the symbol of the fighting spirit of regiments.
He explained that colours also symbolised the campaigns, battle honours and badges granted to the regiment in commemoration of the gallant deeds performed by its members from the time it was raised.
The association of the colours with heroic deeds of the units emblazoned on them has led to the custom of regarding the colours with veneration,” he added. Mr Nwachukwu advised motorists to make use of alternative routes and all proximate routes to the Eagle Square from 5.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on Thursday.