The Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) plans to institutionalize its activities by paradigm shift from a philanthropist to issue-based Association where matters relating to military and police families would be treated and channeled to appropriate authorities. This was part of the communique that were reached at the 2-days DEPOWA National Conference which was held from 16th – 17th August, 2018 at the National Defence College (NDC), Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari who was the Special Guest of Honour, congratulated the current DEPOWA leadership for mooting the idea of organizing the Conference which she described as a welcome development that should be supported by all Nigerians with a view to addressing the issues and challenges confronting both military and police families in the country.
Her Excellency Mrs Aisha Buhari, who was represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, commended the wives and families of the Armed Forces and Police officers for the supportive role they are playing in national security. In her words “the better the quality of help that our officers and police have, the better they can defend the nation and I believe that DEPOWA is pointing increase the help that is available through this 2-days Conference.”
Describing the life of soldier and police as solitary, she commended their spouses for coming through such unimaginable challenges as a result of separation which is occasioned by deployment, the wife of the President, said, “only a great man can sign up for a job that might take his life, and only a great woman can be married to such a great man.’’
The wife of the President, who thanked the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police for their unflinching support to DEPOWA over this years, urged its members to always ensure that their families are protected, noting that as mothers it is their duties to secure the home front.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the DEPOWA President, Mrs Omobolanle Olonisakin while speaking on the theme, “The Role of Defence and Police Officers’ Wives in National Defence, Peace and Security in Nigeria: issues, challenges and way forward,” disclosed that the idea of institutionalizing DEPOWA to further expand its humanitarian service to a system-based is in response to issues of military family lifestyle in the country.
Mrs Olonisakin, added that the Conference was to achieve the institutionalization process through fruitful deliberations with relevant stakeholders including; organizations, business, agencies and individuals.
The DEPOWA President then solicited for the support and encouragement of the Defence Headquarters in the attainment of the lofty objectives of the conference and other activities of the Association. She expressed the assurance of DEPOWA towards the socio-economic and educational empowerment of military and police families.
The CDS, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, in his remarks, lauded the efforts of DEPOWA in addressing the welfare needs of the military and police families, especially widows and orphans of diseased personnel. The CDS, noted that Defence Headquarters (DHQ) is ready to partner with DEPOWA to achieve the conference objectives. The CDS was represented at the event, by the Chief of Policy and Plans, DHQ, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi.
Highlight of the Conference were presentation of lectures on the Role of Defence and Police Officers’ Wives in National Defence, Peace and Security in Nigeria: issues, challenges and way forward, the role of Military family in National Security, Military family lifestyle: Lessons from global experience. Others are; Military children and society, Military spouse and career progression, as well as the Role of DEPOWA in National Security. Also delivered was; Psycho-social impacts of Military family lifestyle, and the military spouse and society: Myths and Reality.