Nigerian Military and Lifting Fallen Heroes’ Widows

By Mahmud Abdulsalam Mahmud,

It will surely come. Whether we like it or not. The appointment had long been fixed. By the Supreme Being. We can cheat every other thing. But for death, it is inevitable.

While many die naturally, some others kick the bucket mysteriously. There are others who transit to the great beyond accidentally. Have you heard of persons who stared death in its face, yet confront it?

If you have not, this writer will tell you about the security agencies. Persons who stacked their lives for the safety and protection of million Nigerians.

I am referring to the men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and other sister para-military organisations.

Aside the aforementioned, the Nigerian military is an institution doing fantastic job, as far as ensuring national security, is concernes. Its troops’ are in the fore front of protecting the country’s territorial integrity from external aggressions.

Nigeria’s corporate entity has remained impregnable because troops of the military have not buckled under local criminal and terrorist forces like the Boko Haram and ISWAP insurgents, Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, bandits, among others.

However, it is at the expense of thousands of troops who paid the supreme price. The troops, who dignifiyingly are called FALLEN HEROES, died in active national service to their fatherland.

But they left behind widows and orphans, who have re-discovered hope in life courtesy of the remarkable philanthropic activities and empowerment programmes regularly organized by the Defence and Police Officers Wives’ Association.

Known as DEPOWA, the association, whose incumbent President is Barr. (Mrs) Vickie Irabor, has tirelessly put smiles on the faces of the widows, children and families of troops killed by enemies of the State, in the line of duty.

Recently, no fewer than 200 widows of some fallen heroes benefitted from DEPOWA’s ‘Project Zero Hunger’, as they got assorted food items to take back home.

The Projet Zero Hunger which is ‘Each One, Feed One,’ is an ongoing partnership initiative between the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) and DEPOWA, to reachout to persons with concern.

Speaking at Secretariat of DEPOWA, in Abuja, during the presentation of the food stuffs, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, said the military high command will continue to support every laudable initiative which seeks to improve the welfare and well-being of families of fallen heroes.

Gen Irabor who said the widows are among the persons of concern, noted that the Armed Forces is doing everything possible to support initiatives that seeks to improve their lives.

He identified the Zero Hunger project as a veritable tool that could be used to promote non-kinetic approach of the military in the quest to tackle insecurity. He added that the whole of societal approach toward the restoration of peace should be encouraged.

The Honourable Federal Commissioner of NCFRMI, Hajiya Imaan Ibrahim said achieving the Project Zero Hunger required what she described as shared commitment from relevant stakeholders, adding that now is the time to work as partners to localize strategies that will ensure food security towards addressing vulnerability for all of the persons of concern.

The Commissioner lauded the resilience of the widows of fallen heroes whose spouses she said have sacrificed their lives for the peace and unity of the nation. She added that the widows have remained steadfast in overcoming the challenges of life. Hajiya Imaan assured them that the Commission in partnership with DEPOWA will continue to render them necessary support.

The DEPOWA President, Barr (Mrs) Vickie Irabor, in her welcome address, said food stuff provided for the 200 widows of fallen heroes through the Project Zero Hunger was a demonstration of what should be done to alleviate the challenges of the beneficiary families and the society as a whole.

Mrs Irabor described the noble partnership between NCFRMI and DEPOWA as an opportunity for the AFN and the civilian population to explore development along lines that would hold them together.

According to the DEPOWA President, “our partnership to ensure Zero Hunger equally captures the needs of our military community through empowerment of these widows who have directly been impacted by the insecurity and crisis in the nation.”

Mahmud Abdulsalam Assistant Editor PRNigeria

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