Widows of soldiers slain by Boko Haram lament non-payment of dues

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian Army troops clearing Boko Haram enclaves along Bitta to Tokumbere, Sambisa Forest, Borno state

The widows of Nigerian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting Boko Haram terrorists have called on wives of service chiefs to impress on their husbands and the government to intervene in prompts payment of salaries and allowances of their deceased husbands.

The widows made the appeals during a counselling and condolence visit by wives of service chiefs under the umbrella of Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, DEPOWA, in Maiduguri at the weekend.

While appreciating the visit, the widows lamented that some of their children have not been going to schools since the introduction of Bank Verification Number, BVN, by Central Bank of Nigeria which prevented most of them from accessing the bank accounts of their husbands.

They further urged the government to create skills acquisition training for them and provide jobs for those that have educational qualifications like secondary and tertiary school certificates.

Responding on behalf of the wives of service chiefs, the President of DEPOWA, Omobolanle Olanisakin sympathized with the women and condoled them over the loss of their husbands who died in active service.

While praying for the souls of the departed soldiers, Mrs. Olanisakin assured the widows that all their complaints will be channelled to the appropriate quarters for possible and immediate solutions.

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She said: “We cannot fold our arms to allow such a situation to continue to happen to you. We are all mothers and women and we know very well what is means a woman to be left with children without husband and care or support. We are with you and we will continue to be with you.

“Already we brought here with us some relief materials for you and more will be provided for you. We have also started training some widows at our DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Scheme Centre Abuja and you will be included in the training program in order to make you self-reliant and have something doing to sustain yourselves and the children. You are not alone and you will not be alone.”

The wife of Chief of Army Staff, Ummu Kaltum Buratai said their visit is an indication of their love and care for the widows and prayed for the repose of the souls of their husbands while assuring them that DEPOWA would continue visit and interact with them towards improving their wellbeing.

Members of the delegation included the wife of the Chief of Air Staff, Hafsat Abubakar, wife of the Chief of Naval Staff, Therisa Ebas and wife of Inspector General of Police, Agarase Arase.

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