It was a solemn affair at the Ikeja Cantonment on Monday evening as wives of soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents wailed profusely as the President of Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) donated food to the widow.
The NAOWA President, 81 Division chapter, in Lagos, Mrs Grace Enobong Udoh prayed for the repose of the souls of the gallant officers who were killed in battle with the insurgents in the North East.
The over 150 widows were drawn from different barracks in Lagos and Ogun state respectively.
Mrs Grace Udoh, while making the presentation, urged wives of the fallen heroes to be strong and courageous.
“I want to urge you wives of our fallen heroes to be strong, courageous and engage in positive ventures that would create a better life for you and your children in the future.
“You must endeavour to send your children to school, as education is a sure key to success.
She observed that “When children are well educated, the chances of child abuse, teenage pregnancy and other criminal tendencies would be reduced and they will also have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our nation.
Mrs Udoh admonished them to enroll for skill acquisition programmes to enable them fit well into the society noting that in due time the sorrows and pains of the absence of their dear husbands would abate when they are gainfully engaged.
She said the presentation was to reach out to some of the widows of the great men of honour that laid down their lives for the peace and progress of our great nation.
However, she charged the widows to take advantage of free Vocational Training Centre at the cantonment that was organised for them, aimed at making them independent to learn different trades and specialities.
On her part, one of the widows, a-23-year old, Mrs Chinyere Victor, a mother of two kids explained that she lost her husband, Cpl. Nwokoma Victor in 2017 to Boko Haram sects.
“I was pregnant before my husband left for the North East but didn’t come back to see my daughter who is now five months old. Even though I am sad, but happy that NAOWA has not forgotten us and the contribution of my husband to sustaining peace in Nigeria.
Another widow, a mother of four children, Mrs Mary Okpe, said she lost her husband, Cpl. Joseph to the fight in the North East adding that the military authorities and the federal government should do more for their families.
The General Officer Commanding, 81 Division, Maj Gen Enobong Udoh, who was represented by the 81 Division Garrison Commander, Brig Gen Kabiru Murktar called on the widows to take the opportunity of Nigerian Army sponsorship for children of the fallen heroes to adequately educate their children stressing that it was their right.
Present at the donation was tthe 9 Brigrade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Moundhey Ali, Director, 81 Division, Education corps, Col Momoh as well as other senior officers and members of NAOWA.