Brig. Gen. Isang Akpaumontia(3rd l) NAOWA chairperson 9 Brigade chapter , Mrs Ndidamaka Akpaumontia, (4th l); Member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot(5thl) and other old pupils of Premier Day School, during the tape cutting of the water project.

 By Evelyn Usman 

 History was made at the Premier DaySchool Surulere, Lagos, yesterday Tuesday, following the construction  of a water project by the Commander 9 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Isang Akpaumontia , aspart of activities to mark the Nigerian Army Day Celebration, NADCEL 2022. 

Also, books were donated to over 1000 pupils of the school.Besides,  the commemoration of NADCEL also witnessed the donation of food stuff and clothing to about 100 widows residing in the Ikeja Cantonment , by the  Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association, NAOWA 9 Brigade Chapter.

In his address at Premier Day School, Brigadier General Akpaumontia explained that the decision to embark on the water project in  the school was borne out of the need to address one of the pressing needs of his Alma mater.He disclosed that  as a pupil of the school about 40 years ago , there was access to clean water via  a running tap , from where pupils drank water. 

He however lamented that during a visit to the school years later,   pupils were discovered to be  drinking from a well ,an action  he said posed danger to their health and personal hygiene.Brigadier General Akpaumontia who  appreciated  the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Farouk Yahaha  for his visionary leadership which he attributed to one of the factors that motivated him to carry out the water project, as well as the General Officer Commanding 81 Div, Maj. Gen. Umar Musa , for his support towards its actualization  . 

Brig Gen Akpaumontia presenting books to one of the pupils

He also charged management of the school to encourage the pupils to enroll into the Military secondary schools as well as the Nigeria Defense Academy, with a view to producing  great ambassadors in future.Brig Gen. Akpaumontia  explained that the Army Day celebration was aimed at informing the  Nigerian Army personnel and Nigerians that the civil war was an unfortunate tragedy. 

He said, ” The  Nigerian Army uses the Nigeria Army Day which terminates on July 6 of every year, for most effective production, we always watch the performance of the previous year in the  Nigerian  Army responsibilities in Nigeria in order to protect lives and property. This responsibility has become peculiar  in view of security challenges. ” To this effect, the Nigerian Army  undertakes different programs for the celebration, which enhances military operations. ”

It is also aimed atenlightening Nigerians that the Nigeria Army is not always about war, but aboutlove because these  personnel  also have children, mother, father andsisters who are civilians.” As  an old pupil of Lagos State school in Surulere, if you take a look at this building outside,you will see that the  roofs are  leaking, so I have talkedwith the Surulere Local Government Area  Chairman to  try to dosomething about it.”

I noticed that the school did  nothave portable water to drink, so I decided  to provide this borehole onthe Army day celebration”.In his remark, the Chairman, SurulereLocal Government Area , Bamidele Yusuf , applauded the gesture of the 9 BrigadeCommander  and therefore called on formerpupils of the school  who were well placed in the society to emulate the gesture and also extend it to the 44 primaryschools in Surulere.

Brig.Gen Akpaumontia (m) and chairperson, NAOWA, Mrs Ndidamaka Akpaumontia, presenting food stuff , cloth, to one of the widows of a fallen soldier residing in Ikeja Cantonment.

He informed that  in his days as a pupil, he benefited from the government in his education career  but   observedthat today, many parents were sending their children to private schools. He however urged parents to revert theirdecision by sending their children to public schools, informing that the governmenthad done a lot to revamp public schools.

On her part, Head Teacher of theschool, Mrs   Nwaturu Osiha, also appreciated  the 9 Brigade Commander for having the schoolat heart at a time when it needed water most. She assured that  the school would  ensure that the project was put to good usefor the benefit of all. NAOWApresents food stuff, clothes to widows from the school, Brigadier General Akpaumontia,accompanied by some senior officers of the 9 Brigade and members of the NigerianArmy Wives’ Association,NAOWA led by its chairperson, Mrs Ndidiamaka Akpaumontia, proceeded to the the Ikeja Cantonment , for the donation of food stuff and clothing towidows of soldiers who died in active service.

The occasion which was championed byNAOWA , elicited emotion as the widows had tear filled eyes  throughout the duration of the event.Mrs Akpaumontia, who tried as hard not to betray her emotion, described the gesture as  givingthe beneficiaries a sense of belonging , especially when their breadwinnerswere no more.In her words of encouragement, she said,“  the essence of life is to give andwhen you do not give , you will go down.

We know that  behind every successful man there is a woman, and when that successful man is no longer there, what becomes of the wife and children?“ When a soldier receives salaryevery month, the wife  will always look forward to the salary but when the soldier is no more and the salary is no more forthcoming, what becomes of those left behind?”She therefore urged  those still living to always remember to extend kindness to families of their departed colleagues.

Also speaking, the Brigade Commander noted that nothing  would be given to the widows that could substitute the place of their husbands.He however assured that “ the country that your husbands died for will never neglect you”., even as he  encouraged them not to lose hope , explaining that the token presented to them was a demonstration of the high regard the Army had for them.

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