•FROM AKPAN ETTEH in Uyo•
The Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), 2 Brigade, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has presented gifts comprising bags of rice, cartons of vegetable oil and bale of wrapper to 44 widows.
Speaking yesterday at the 6th Battalion Nigerian Army, Ibagwa, Abak, during the presentation of gift items to the 44 widows who lost their husbands, Zonal Coordinator of NAOWA, Mrs Fatima Hassan, expressed dismay over the increase in the number of widows in the barracks.
She stated the group has been providing welfare support to women, youth, children and the less privileged in Nigerian barracks since its inception over four decades ago.
Hassan noted that the group will continue to ensure that wives of soldiers who lost their husbands while in active service were not forgotten, and appealed to the widows to take proper care of their children and train them to become good citizens.
She said, “Last year we had fewer number of widows that benefited from this laudable programme compared to this year which has almost doubled the number.
“We are not happy with the increase in the number of widows in the barracks. We pray that next year’s activities will witness far less than what we have today.
“On this note, it is my singular honour and privilege to present the little support to our widows in order to put smile on their faces and to tell them that we care and love them.”
In his remarks, the Commander, 2 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig. – Gen. Abdu Hassan, said the army would not abandon the widows.
Hassan, who was represented by the Commander 2 Brigade Garrison, Lt. – Col. Yakubu Nwandiscas, added that the widows will continue to be remembered because their husbands died defending the country.
“We cannot forget you even though you have lost your husbands. We will continue to support you to put smile on your faces”.
In her response, Mrs Christiana Murtala, who spoke on behalf of the widows commended NAOWA and the army for their kind gesture.
She appealed for continuous support from the army to enable them train their children, noting, “We thank you very much for what you have done for us, for remembering us today and providing these gifts, God will bless you all.”