The Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA), in furtherance of its commitment of empowering the less privileged in the society, has today Thursday 10 February 2022 graduated Batch XI trainees from its Skills Acquisition Centre, Asokoro, Abuja. The 63 graduands were trained within a duration of 3 to 6 months on vocational skills, which included catering and hotel management, fashion designing and computer science. Graduands were also trained on cosmetology, make-up and gele tying, cosmetics, detergent production and hair dressing.
The DEPOWA President , Barr (Mrs) Vickie Irabor, in her welcome address, said the DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre was upgraded to equip widows of fallen heroes and vulnerable youths with different vocational skills to enable them become self-reliant and economically strong. The DEPOWA President, who lamented the ordeals faced by some widows, said the sacrifices of the fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in the service to the nation, would always be remembered. Barr Irabor explained that the empowerment initiative was the beginning of hope as well as expectation for a brighter and better future for the beneficiaries.
She maintained that the skills and knowledge gained by the graduands was a source of financial liberation and opportunity for the graduands to equally contribute their quota to the society, noting that there is dignity in labour. The DEPOWA President urged the graduands to take advantage of freshness of these skills to build, save and invest. According to her, ‘those that will excel are the ones that are ready to work hard, save and re-invest in their businesses’. She disclosed that DEPOWA has provided the graduands with starter packs and one year rent to commence their vocations in earnest. Mrs Irabor while thanking the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for sponsoring the DEPOWA’s social intervention and humanitarian progammes, posited that DEPOWA will continue to be a vessel that supports and uplifts the noble mandates of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya while addressing the graduands, said the social intervention programmes midwifed by DEPOWA were aimed at bringing succor to the widows of fallen heroes and vulnerable youths in the barracks communities and the society at large. Lieutenant General Yahaya, who was the Special Guest of Honour during the graduation ceremony, lauded the skills acquisition initiatives and also praised the current leadership of DEPOWA for empowering widows of fallen heroes and the vulnerable groups. This he said, was in line with the resolve of the leadership of the AFN to bring relief to widows, vulnerable groups and families in the barracks and the wider society.
The COAS added that the payment of emolument to families of deceased personnel and sponsorship of their biological children up to university level were geared towards supporting them to become useful members of the society. The COAS equally commended DEPOWA and its affiliate Associations for replicating their social intervention and empowerment programmes in the various military barracks across the country. He assured DEPOWA of the continuous support of the Nigerian Army.
The former first lady, Dr (Mrs) Marian Abacha, in her goodwill message, congratulated the graduands for the successful completion of the programmes. Mrs Abacha, who was also a former DEPOWA President, recounted how she established DEPOWA some decades ago. She commended the efforts of Mrs Irabor for building on the legacies of past DEPOWA Presidents. Mrs Chibuzor Osuoha who represented the Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, delivered a lecture on the rudiments of becoming a successful entrepreneur during the graduation ceremony. Highlights of the event included presentation of certificates, starter kits and cash to the graduands as well as inspection of the exhibition stand.
Among the dignitaries that graced the graduation ceremony were the Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Hajia Sulaiman Ibrahim, National President Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs Salamatu Yahaya and the National President Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA), Mrs Elizabeth Amao, amongst other eminent personalities. The National President Navy Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA) and the National President Police Officers’ Wives Association were represented at the occasion.
Director Defence Information
10 February 2022