The Nigerian Army Day is an annual event typically held on 6 July in honour of Nigerian gallant soldiers who dedicated their lives, especially those who had taken part in World War I and World War II, as well as those who had lost their lives during the Nigerian Civil War and other conflicts.
The families of these bravest soldiers encounter many challenges, and untold hardships as the government leave them in the lurch simply because of the demise of their loved ones.
However, the families and widows of these gallant soldiers were thrown into misery and abject poverty because the federal government has failed to pay their husbands’ entitlements to enable them to cater for their children’s school fees or university tuitions. The wives and children of these bold individuals who tirelessly made significant sacrifices to their dear country and the World, in general, should not be left in this unfortunate situation.
Mrs Williams, a widow of a Nigerian Army officer, who had died on a peacekeeping mission in 2016 in Somalia, told me sad stories. She has been suffering since that time without any help, including the government. Her children that are supposed to be enrolled in school or tertiary institutions are now roaming on the streets. What sort of injustice for these children whose fathers dedicated their lives to safeguarding our fatherland?
In a nutshell, the government should address the plight of these widows through timely and speedy payment of their fringe benefits. In addition, the government should also set up an endowment fund. Thus, the children of our late gallant soldiers will be sponsored to schools and the widows economically empowered to continue with their everyday lives.
Mallam Musbahu Magayaki
Writes from Sabon Fegi, Azare.