By Desmond Ejibas
Port Harcourt – The Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA), on Wednesday donated food stuff and cash to widows of naval officers who died in the course of duty.
NOWA National President, Hajiya Nana Gambo inaugurated the exercise tagged: “2022 Annual Widows and Orphans Programme”, organised by the association at the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder in Port Harcourt.
She said that the palliatives distributed were part of activities marking its 57th anniversary celebration of the Navy.
According to her, many widows in the country have been abandoned by the society their late husbands served and laid their lives to protect.
“So, the importance of a programme like this cannot be overemphasised, especially as widows are historically left unseen, unsupported and unmeasured by the society.
“Therefore, we organised this programme to show them kindness and solidarity as well as provide them and their families with succour in line with the association’s responsibilities.
“NOWA has sustained this programme of supporting widows considering that majority of the widow’s circumstances happened in the line of duty of serving their fatherland,” she said.
The NOWA president, who is the wife of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo said recent United Nations statistics showed there were more than 258 million widows around the world.
She said armed with this figure, the association decided to extend its hand of fellowship to widows in Rivers; having done same severally to widows of deceased naval officers in Lagos.
“So, upon my assumption of leadership of the association, I made it mandatory that the programme must be carried out in all Zones where NOWA has presence.
“The decision was taken to ensure that widows and orphans in other parts of the country also benefit from this programme.
“This is so, because their late husbands paid the ultimate price for the country,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gambo presented food stufs and undisclosed stipend to about 30 widows at the event.
Also speaking, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Gambo commended NOWA for its numerous humanitarian services that targeted widows and the less privilege in the country.
Represented by the Admiral Superintendent, Naval Shipyard Limited, Port Harcourt, Rear Adm. John Oyegade, Gambo said the association had been of immense support to the Nigeria Navy.
“NOWA has been a bridge that has been supporting the efforts of the navy toward alleviating the challenges faced by wives of naval personnel both retired and serving.
“The support from the association over the years has immensely impacted on the lives of widows and orphans who are facing untold hardship.
“One of my goals is to keep encouraging NOWA to continue with such programmes that directly impact on the lives of disadvantaged persons, including our retirees,” he said.
Mrs Nkechinyere Abi-Kalio, who spoke on behalf of her fellow widows thanked the association and called for more support, especially in the face of rising cost of living in the country. (NAN)
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