BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, FRCN PORT HARCOURT
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has reiterated the need to take care of widows and orphans of fallen naval officers.
Vice Admiral Gambo who made the emphasis during an event to empower Widows and orphans by Naval Officers Wives Association, NOWA at Nigerian Navy Ship NNS Pathfinder Port Harcourt, noted that it was part of the activities marking the fifty seventh anniversary.
According to the Chief of the Naval Staff, NOWA has been helpful over the years in making sure that widows and orphans within the barracks and larger society are supported in different ways to lessen the burden and trauma of the loss of their husbands who died in active service.
Vice Admiral Gambo who was represented by Superintendent Naval Shipyard Port Harcourt, Rear Admiral John Oyegede while acknowledging the positive impact NOWA has made in the families of fallen heroes, encouraged the group not to relent in reaching out to them.
“The conduct of this event annually is a noble venture undertaken by NOWA and one which should be sustained. Ultimately, it would create a feeling of acceptance and recognition of widows and orphans in the barracks and across the country by NOWA.”
“Let me therefore extend my hand of gratitude to NOWA for providing assistance to widows and orphans and remaining a bridge for the NN to connect with these persons in the barracks and the larger society.”
He maintained that Nigerian Navy places premium on the welfare of officers, retired veterans and the family members of those who paid the ultimate price serving the Nation.
“One of my goals is to keep on encouraging NOWA to continue with such programmes that directly impact on the lives of disadvantaged persons including retired personnel living in our midst.”
The Naval Admiral encouraged the group to continue to render humanitarian services that have direct impact on the well-being of citizens.
While making donations of food stuff and money to widows and orphans, NOWA National President, Nana Gambo stated that the commemoration was being done at different zones of naval establishments to reach out to the needy.
Mrs. Gambo who is also the wife of the Chief of the Naval Staff said she was motivated to expand the reach out programme due to the number of widows which United Nations records put at over two hundred and fifty million around the world.
“It is also to provide succor to naval families in line with the responsibility of the Association. I humbly submit that the Association is keeping up with this solidarity and even more. “
“ As we are gathered here for a similar programme, I want to assure our women, especially widows that NOWA hold you in very high esteem, share your grieves and would continue to support and provide the perfect shoulder you can comfortably lean on.”
The National President who noted that many Widows and orphans in the country have been abandoned by society, assured widows and orphans of fallen Naval officers that efforts have been put in place for effective support.
She appreciated the Naval hierarchy for continuous support of the programme.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Nkechinyere Abi-Kalio who spoke on behalf of the recipients thanked NOWA for coming to their aid.