*Says Military’s Involvement In Insurgency War At High Price
The President of the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA), Mrs Vickie Irabor, has lamented the involvement of the military in tackling insurgency and other security challenges in the country.
According to her, their involvement comes at a high price with the death of officers and soldiers, who left behind families – a development that has increased the numbers of widows and orphans in most barracks.
Mrs Irabor, who is the wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, stated this in Abuja during the graduation ceremony of the 11th Batch of widows, who graduated from the DEPOWA Skill Acquisition Centre.
According to her, in spite of the response of officers and soldiers to the call for the defence of the nation, the death of the gallant officers and men had left many families in the barracks without their breadwinners.
She said, “In the last decade, Nigeria has faced major challenges with insecurity and terrorism. Soldiers and officers have answered the call to defend the nation and though we have recorded success, it has not come at a small price.
“We have lost gallant men, fathers, brothers, who, in the course of duty, have left families behind all over our barracks.”
The CDS’ wife said she has, however, taken it upon herself to ensure that widows of the fallen soldiers are made to undergo training in order to be self-reliant.
She added, “DEPOWA has taken it up as a challenge to address the elephant in our community by upgrading the DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre (DSAC) to empower widows with different skills and training, thereby giving them a trade to carry on the good work left behind by their breadwinners.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, announced the donation of N100,000 to each of the 63 graduands, urging them to deploy the skills acquired appropriately.
Hajiya Maryam Abacha, the pioneer President of DEPOWA and wife of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, who was also in attendance, revealed how crises almost tore the association apart in the 90s.
“I remember when I was a young officer’s wife, I couldn’t go to NAOWA because there were so many problems there, and we were not allowed to go. When eventually it was resuscitated, we started going and it was still on, and we thank God for that,” She explained.