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The Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), 2 Brigade Chapter, on Saturday decried the increase in the number of widows in the barracks.

Mrs Fatima Hassan, the Zonal Coordinator of the chapter, expressed her displeasure on the sad development while donating gifts to 44 widows at the 6 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Ibagwa, Abak, in Akwa-Ibom.

Hassan said that NAOWA had been involved in welfare programmes targeted at women, youth, children and less privileged in the barracks since its establishment over four decades ago.

She said that the association would continue to do its best to ensure that wives of soldiers who lost their husbands while in active service were not forgotten.

“Last year, we had fewer widows that benefited from this programme compared to the higher number we have this year.

“We are not happy with the increase in the number of widows in the barracks. We pray that next year’s activities will witness far less number than what we have today.

“On this note, it is my singular honour to present the little support to our widows, to put smiles on their faces and to tell them that we care and love them,” Hassan said.

She appealed to them to take proper care of their children and train them to become better citizens despite the loss of their husbands.

The Commander 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Abdu Hassan in his remarks, said that the army would not abandon the widows.

Hassan was represented by the Garrison Commander, 6 Battalion, Lt. – Col. Yakubu Nwandiscas at the occasion.

He said that the military authorities would continue to assist the widows would since their husbands died defending their fatherland.

“We cannot forget you even though you have lost your husbands. We will continue to support your welfare so as to put smiles on your faces,” he said.

Responding, on behalf of the widows, Mrs Christiana Murtala, commended NAOWA and the army for their kind gestures.

Murtala appealed for continuous support from the army, to enable them train their children.

She said, “We thank you very much for what you have done to us; for remembering us today and providing these gifts, God will bless you all.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that gifts presented to the widows include: bags of rice, cartons of vegetable oil and bale of clothing.

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