The DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre (DSAC) on Thursday 10th February 2022 in Abuja graduated 63 widows and family members who lost their bread winners in the task of ensuring security for the nation by fighting in several theatres of operation, with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya disclosing that the well-being and welfare ot widows of fallen heroes is of utmost priority to him and his colleagues (service chiefs) in the military.
The COAS who supported the 63 widows and family members that graduated with #100,000 each to start off their trades of specialty advised them to be determined and committed in their new venture saying, “Nothing in Life comes easy. At the beginning it may look tough but with hardwork and innovation you will attract the needed customers”.
The is just as the mother of the day and former First Lady of Nigeria. Mrs. Maryam Abacha commended DEPOWA and the various services officers wives association for keeping faith with the foundation initiative of DEPOWA which is to cater for families of fallen heroes in the barracks.
She said, “Whatever opportunity comes your way, please utilize it very well. Be patient when you start, don’t rush but hardwork pays. I planted a seed in NAOWA and DEPOWA many years ago, today it has grown and spread very well and widows of fallen heroes and families are benefitting. I am happy to see this”.
In her opening remarks, President of the Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, Barr. Mrs. Vickie Anwuli Irabor said, “In the last decade, Nigeria has faced major challenges with insecurity and terrorism.
“Soldiers and Officers have answered the call to defend the nation and though we have recorded success, it has not come at a small price.
“We have lost gallant men, fathers, brothers who in the course of duty, have left families behind all over our barracks.
“DEPOWA has taken it up as a challenge to address the elephant in our community, by upgrading the DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre (DSAC) to empower widows with different skills and trainings thereby giving them a trade to carry on the good work left behind by their bread winners.
“Today we are graduating a diverse group of women who have experienced real pain and have come out stronger.
“The life of a loved one cut short in honorable service to the nation can never be erased from memory.
“These are women that have risen to the duty of training their children, fending for house-holds and supporting extended families.
“They have jumped through hoops, bent backwards and gone the extra mile to be here and at this time, truly it has not been easy getting to this point. I will like us to give them a resounding round of applause.
“Dear graduands, people that are not in your shoes may not understand what you have achieved here, but indeed it is the beginning of hope.
“It is also the expectation for a brighter and better future, a source of financial liberation and opportunity for you to equally contribute your quota to the society with dignity of labour.
“Yes, this day signifies all this and much more for you and your families but I must tell you, if you take these skills home and bury them or get carried away by the demands of life, they will remain the symbol of hope that was never achieved.
“You must make hay whilst the sun shines, ie take advantage of the freshness of these skills in your memory. You should also desire and begin to build, save, and invest. It takes saving 500 Naira a day to save N182,500 a year.
“Those who will excel are the ones that are ready to work hard, save money and re-invest in their businesses.
“You have been trained not only in skill but how to manage a business, do not let it go to waste. We have also given you the advantage by providing starter kits, one year rent and stipends all through the duration of your training.
“So you must work hard for that advantage to yield into profit. I urge you to always look for positive opportunity to promote, market and build your business,
“Some of you have learnt skills that complement each other, look into joint ventures where you utilize each others strengths for customer retention. By Gods grace, the works of your hands will reap great reward.
“I will not fail to thank the Presidents of NAOWA, NOWA, NAFOWA, POWA and all DEPOWA Coordinators who are my great allies, for their contributions and sponsorship of of women through these trainings.Uniting our voices first we have done amazing work.
“Permit me to also acknowledge the support I enjoy from my sister, the Hon Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displayed persons Hajia Imaan Suleiman Ibrahim.
“I want to specially recognize and appreciate the spouses of NDA 34th regular course (34th babes) for contributing 5 butterfly sewing machines, 2 industrial lion weaving machine and other sewing machines and equipments to upgrade the tailoring department of DSAC.
While appreciating the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Farouk Yahaya, who was the Special Guest of honour for his esteemed presence and for taking time out from his busy schedule to grace the ceremony, Barr Mrs Irabor commended him for his commitment and continued support for the military wives and families.
To the former first lady, she said, “I welcome specially our Mother of inestimable value Hajia Maryam Abacha, a national treasure, a woman amongst women, a woman with foresight. I thank you Mummy for your role in putting DEPOWA together and for your invaluable advice and love.
“I will not fail to acknowledge and specially thank the Chief of Defence Staff, General LEO Irabor, my darling husband, though not here, he largely sponsored this program and believes that the military wives can do a lot to support their husbands in their work. DEPOWA hopes to continue being a vessel that supports and uplifts the good work of our husbands in the Nigerian Armed Forces.”
A representatative of SMEDAN, Mrs Chibuzor Osuoha, a Deputy Director in the agency delivered a lecture on the steps through which the graduands of the Skill Acquisition training can benefits from support in their various specialties.
A past graduand of DSAC, batch 7, Mrs Rita Adeniran thanked DEPOWA for training in the area of fashion designing saying it had removed poverty and unemployment from her family as she can now cater for her children in school and feed them