By Stanley Nwanosike
No fewer than 98 widows of fallen heroes in the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu have been empowered by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
Ugwuanyi gave a cheque of N19.6 million to the General Officer Commanding of the Division, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar, for the widows on Sunday, during the 2017 West African Social Activities (WASA) celebration.
Presenting the cheque on behalf of the governor, the Special Adviser to Enugu State Government on Security Matters, Brig.-Gen. Fred Eze (rtd), said each of the widows would get N200,000 to start-up or enhance their businesses.
“This is in fulfillment of the promise made by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day held on Jan. 15 at Okpara Square, Enugu.
“Gov. Ugwuanyi is passionate to ensure that the welfare of personnel and officers of security agencies in the state are given adequate attention in order to get the best from them,’’ he said.
He urged the widows to put the money to judicious use in a viable business venture or endeavour to be able to contribute meaningfully to the lives of their family members.
“I will implore you to make judicious use of the money for it to create the desired multiplier effect,’’ he said.
Responding, Abubakar thanked the governor on behalf of the widows, for fulfilling his promise within a short time.
“On behalf of the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai and the Division, I sincerely send our great salute and appreciate to His Excellency, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for this great gesture to widows of our fallen heroes.
“Personally, I wish to thank him for fulfilling his promise within a short time,’’ he said.
The GOC revealed that the division had met the beneficiaries of the empowerment and tutored them on how best to make use of the money to ensure multiplier effect.
On the WASA celebration, Abubakar said it was meant to promote social inclusion and togetherness between personnel of the Nigerian Army, their families and the general public at large.
The GOC also affirmed the loyalty of the army to constituted civilian authorities and to the Commander of Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WASA celebration featured flamboyant cultural displays and traditional dances cutting across prominent ethnic groups in Nigeria, as well as a tug-of-war session.
Some soldiers, who exceptionally distinguished themselves in their lines of duty, were also recognised and honoured by the GOC.
NAN reports that WASA is an annual event and a standing military tradition where officers, soldiers, their families and friends socially interact in a relaxed atmosphere.