Omobola Olonisakin, President, Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, has advocated creation of foundation to cater for educational and healthcare needs of military widows and orphans in Nigeria.
Olonisakin made the call at the maiden National Stakeholders Convention of Military Widows Association on Tuesday in Abuja.
She urged the leadership of MIWA to look into how such foundation could be promoted as an internal mechanism through which they can address some of their problems.
The DEPOWA president said there was the need to create a platform to provide education and healthcare delivery for widows and their wards.
She also urged the widows to continue to work hard to make ends meet by engaging themselves in businesses for sustainable source of support.
Olonisakin commended the leadership of the association for doing their best to ensure the smooth running of the association.
She assured of DEPOWA’s continuous support towards making their lives meaningful.
“In line with this, I am happy to say that DEPOWA has been organising skill acquisition training for widows where they are being equipped with starter packs and money to start businesses to enhance their income.
“From the feedback we are receiving, the programme is helping many widows to stand on their feet and take good care of their families,” she said.
The Director General, Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, said the widows needed strength to persevere to overcome the challenges of widowhood.
Wahab urged the women to strive to overcome their individual backgrounds and work in unity to develop their potentials for the good of members of the association.
He also urged the leadership of MIWA to exhibit high moral courage towards meeting the collective aspiration of the members.
Also, the Director, Veterans Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Lawal Abdullahi, said the import of the convention was to assure the widows that they remained parts of the military family.
Abdullahi said that the Chief of Defence Staff believed that military widows should come together under one umbrella to pursue common goal, adding that there was the need for them to remain united.
He said that the military was concerned about the plights of the widows, adding that it was determined to unify the association towards strengthening it to address its members’ plights.
“We know that some of you are comfortable where you are and how you are but there are others who need to be supported and carried along.
“This maiden convention was sponsored by the CDS to further solidify you and make MIWA stronger after the convention,” he said.
The National President, Military Widows Association, Veronica Aloko, commended the military for its commitment to mitigating the challenges confronting the widows and plight of their children.
Aloko said that MIWA had its cardinal vision and mission to initiate programmes that would have direct impact on well-being of the family of deceased.
She commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating policies that have had direct impact on the socio-economic well-being of the military widows across the country.
She said the event unfolding recently had necessitated the urgent need of the National Convention to reposition MIWA for the collective benefits of all stakeholders.
“I appeal to all stakeholders to work towards promoting hardwork, discipline, mutual respect and self-reliance in pursuit of happiness,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event includes election of new executive members for the association.