“The labour of our Heroes past, shall never be in vain,” is one phrase in our National anthem that appeals, informs and reminds our consciousness, of the sacrifices made by both the living and our dead service men.
In celebrating and remembering our fallen heroes, the Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated it’s commitment to the welfare of the families of our fallen heroes. This was made known by the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Onyeama Nwachukwu, in an interview with press men after the Armed Forces Remembrance day celebration, held on January 15, 2020, at the Eagles square, Abuja. The Brig. Gen. said that Government through the Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association, Nigerian Navy Officers Wives Association and Nigerian Air force Officers Wives Association, have put in place empowerment and skills training for Widows and Orphans of our fallen heroes.
Brig. Gen. Nwachukwu said, “these bodies have been mandated to conduct empowerment schemes, economic and financial empowerment, and to galvanise support for them; and also to provide them with the requisite vocational skills to be financially independent.”
He further said, the Armed Forces remembrance events commenced in October 2019, when the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, inaugurated the National Planning committee. He noted that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo had further assured the families of the fallen heroes of Federal Government support at the non- denominational church service held on Sunday, January 13, 2020, in honor of the fallen force men.
Wives of the fallen heroes seem to be satisfied with Government’s efforts and initiatives. The President of the Military Widows Association, Mrs. Vero Aloko, who spoke to our reporter said aside the payments of benefits to families of late Officers, scholarship to their children and a housing scheme being put in place by the Chief of Defence staff, the widows have enjoyed enormous support from the wives of the Service chiefs, especially in the last five years.
“This day is memorable for us. It is a day the government has set aside to remember the fallen heroes, their sacrifices and the supreme price they have payed for the Nation must not be forgotten. It also gives us hope that we have not been forgotten.
“In the past five years, the Service chief’s wives have not relented in helping the widows. From food stuff, money and training the widows with skills that can help them fit back into the society, as most of them have lived all their lives in the Barracks,” Mrs. Aloko said.
“To Nigerians, I will like to say, let peace reign. There are some conflicts that can be avoided. These (conflicts) have caused us pains of being widows and we are much. We are paying the pains of what we never bargained, our husbands are gone, but we never bargained for it. We are almost having widow colonies all over the place. So please, things that can lead to pains and wars should be refrained from,” Aloko further stated.