By Daniels Nwokike, The Sight News
Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA), has graduated a batch of 210 widows, women and youths at its just concluded empowerment programme in Ibadan tagged ‘Empowered for Life’.
Speaking at the event, the Special Guest of Honour, and wife of the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Dr. Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, while appreciating DEPOWA for placing high premium on what she described as well structured programmes, noted that the well planned structure gave birth to the empowerment of women and youths within Ibadan and its environs.
Mrs Ajimobi who was represented by the wife of the Secretary to Oyo State Government, Mrs Omotunde Olowokere, congratulated the beneficiaries for exhibiting great level of commitment and determination which enabled them to complete the training while advising them to ensure they use the acquired skills to positively affect their lives, that of their families and the nation at large.
She urged the beneficiaries not to rest on their oars in the search for knowledge, noting that it is mandatory in all facets of human life even as she encouraged corporate bodies, Non Governmental Organizations and individuals to embrace the DEPOWA empowerment initiative, describing the task of empowering the less privileged in the society as community service.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Abayomi Olonisakin commended the current DEPOWA leadership for its laudable efforts at empowering women and youths with a view to making them to be self sufficient and also employers of labour, stating that through the noble scheme, DEPOWA is contributing to national development and unity.
The CDS who was represented by the Commandant, Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (AFRC), Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Liman, seized the opportunity to express his sincere appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support to the Armed Forces, especially in the provision of military platforms and equipment which he said had added impetus to military training and operations in recent times.
Earlier in her welcome address, the President of DEPOWA, Mrs Omobonlale Olonisakin, said that the programme was initially designed to train 200 participants at a time but was later increased to 210 because of the commitment of DEPOWA towards reducing unemployment and youth restiveness in the society.
“The empowerment is to reduce the number of unemployed Nigerians with special attention on youths, women and widows of our fallen heroes in the military barracks as well as widows in our environment”, she added.
Mrs Olonisakin enjoined the beneficiaries to maximize the gains from the acquired vocational skills as well as starter packs to improve their welfare needs and that of their families, noting that part of DEPOWA’s empowerment policy is a follow-up evaluation exercise which will be carried out on the beneficiaries to assess their performance as they are expected to commence their various businesses as soon as possible.
She used the occasion to thank the CDS, other service chiefs, commanders and commandants of tri-service military institutions as well as other stakeholders of the Association for supporting the Association’s noble quest.