…charges naval officers to write will

By Evelyn Usman

Wives of naval personnel were yesterday in Lagos, urged  to take the issue of  health serious, particularly those of their spouses, in order to ensure professionalism and operational efficiency in the Service.

They were  also advised on the need to write their  wills,  so as not to  plunge  their  families into problems associated with intrusion,  that might tear them apart, in the event of death.

These assertions were handed down  at a seminar on ‘Health and Importance of Writing a Will,  organized by the Naval Officers Wives Association, NOWA  as part of activities to mark the 63rd anniversary of  the Nigerian Navy.

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President  of NOWA and wife of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Barr. (Mrs) Theresa Ibas, in her welcome remark, explained that the seminar was aimed among other objectives , to  steer members into taking proactive steps at  ensuring better lives for their loved ones by preparing for and making a will.

She said: “This seminar topics are contemporary and relevant to our society. Health they say is wealth and several emphases have long been placed on the effects of lifestyles on health. Recognizing the different roles we play in our own health, is a fundamental step to living a more healthy life. This  is a partnership we must consciously be involved in. It is never too early or too late to start taking responsibility and being partners in our health.

“ The topic on health is therefore, aimed at encouraging us to take personal responsibilities and be partners in our own health. Likewise, the Importance of Making a Will cannot be over emphasized.

“ We are well aware that one day we would surely bow out, leaving loved ones behind. The Will is that document that would speak for us after we depart the scene. It ensures for the proper administration of our estate and goes a long way to guaranty better life and peaceful co-existence of our loved ones”.

In  her presentation of the first paper titled ‘ Making Our Sailors fit for the Fleet: Be a partner in Your heath’  Dr Titilayo Abiono, highlighted HIV/AIDS, stroke, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, drug and alcohol use and dietary risks  as some risk factors for death and disability in Nigeria.

For instance, she disclosed that Nigeria was the second highest burden on HIV/AIDS  in the world, with several persons living with it unaware of their status.

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She also revealed that the country had the 4th largest tuberculosis epidemic in the world , lamenting that HIV and tuberculosis co-infection was becoming an increasing concern for people living with HIV.

The Chicago, US based Nigerian  however,, informed that these risk factors could be modified, through personal hygiene, safe sex, regular checks of blood pressure , moderate intake of alcohol and good diet.

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She also called for the need to reduce  stress, advising that “ You should get adequate sleep, set realistic expectations, exercise regularly,  be positive and optimistic , laugh always and visit your doctor”.

On her part, the President, International Federation  of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Lagos branch, Barr. Ngozi Ngbolu, in her paper titled ‘ Protecting  the Ones we love after we have bowed out’ , emphatically  stated women were also expected to write their will , as part of preparation for death.

She said if this was not done and death occurred, traditional or state law would take effect , citing an instance of one Mr Ukeje’s case which she said took 32 years before the court ruled in the favour of his female children  to benefit from their late  father’s property.

She said, “ As men make will, you also as women should make your will. It is advisable to plan for when we will bow out. Who will be entitled to receive the property you will leave behind and how will they be received by those left behind? In order for harmony and love to continue to exist in families, it is important to write a will.

“It is also important  to be specific when writing a will , by mentioning the names of those to inherit what “.

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, in his remark,  said that the  theme of the seminar was apt, as it addressed two major aspects of  personnel’s concern.

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The CNS who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral  Oladele Daji, who described members of the association as strong pillars of support to the Nigerian Navy, said, “  I appreciate you all for preserving and maintaining the family values which has allowed us to concentrate on our work, both afloat and ashore .

“ For all of us, particularly the younger officers and ratings,  we should take all that were said here today serious, by taking ownership of our health and avoid those things that are detrimental to our health. The Navy has been sensitizing its personnel on the need to write their will. For the Western Naval Command, we had a seminar on that , in March, 2019 and it is a quarterly seminar”.

Former president of  NOWA, Mrs Treasure Sam-Afolayan , advised the women to be empowered and also  give their children good training and education that would make them not to depend on their bread winners will.

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