By Bose Adelaja
The National Chairman of The Nigerian Legion, Major General Abdulmalik Jibril (rtd), General Abdulmalik Jibril (rtd), Iyaloja General in Nigeria, Mrs Folasade Tinubu- Ojo have joined other well-meaning Nigerians to solicit support towards a better living for military widows in Nigeria.
They spoke on Monday, at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, during an event titled, ‘’Empowering widows of our fallen heroes,’’ to officially launch the Military Widows Association (MIWA), led by Mrs Veronica Gift Aloko, Widow of Rear Admiral S.O Aloko, Former Commandant, National War College.
While welcoming participants to the occasion, Aloko said that government efforts alone cannot meet their needs because of the increase in the number of widows occasioned by the alarming insecurity in Nigeria.
She said the widows have been faced with difficulties since their husbands lost their lives under tragic circumstances.
Jibril (rtd), who doubled as the Father of the Day, said the event was organized, ‘’to raise funds for the wellbeing and upkeep of the widows of our fallen heroes. As we know, their husbands and other members of the military are always ready anytime they are called upon to put their lives on the line for this country for you and me to sleep with our eyes closed. Naturally, anytime they are called upon for such services, there are always causalities and their wives and children are left behind to bear the losses.
‘’Even as the government is doing its best, this is not enough, we, therefore, call upon corporate bodies and individuals to come to the aid of these widows as it is a continuum. This programme is organized to launch stickers that will be used to raise funds for the widows and their children. It is being launched in the South-west today and the gesture will be replicated in other zones in the country.’’
Represented by the Iyaloja of Oluwole Market, Mrs Josephine Ndudiwe, Mother of the Day, Mrs Folasade Tinubu Ojo, the Iyaloja General of Nigeria, expressed readiness to support the widows anytime she is called upon to do so.
Co-Launcher and former gubernatorial candidate in Ogun State, Hon Gboyega Isiaka, said of the event, ‘’the widows run into thousands and there is need to strengthen the project by outing up a structure to cater for the administration of the fund because many widows will still come to join as the programme progresses.’’
In a chat with Vanguard, one of the widows, 41 years old, Mrs Oyeniyi Janet said her husband, Abiola Oyeniyi who served in Ojo Cantonment said he died in 2019 during a peacekeeping mission to Maiduguri. ‘’I received a call that his team was ambushed by Boko Haram. He served for 20 years living behind three children, I need another accommodation because any time from now, there will be a signal that we should vacate the barracks,’’
Another widow, Mrs Alalade Adeola who lost her husband, Olusegun demonic, a Warrant Officer with Defense Intelligence Agency, Abuja said he died on December 19, 2014, when he fell unconscious from sleep. ‘’I am left to cater for three children, ages 18, 16 and 13 all alone.’’ She said.