Aisha Buhari, has called for the application of certain privileges akin to the provision of vehicles, sponsored medical treatments and provision of some stipends, among others that are due to former Presidents, to wives of Presidents as against the existing position.
The outgoing First Lady said First Ladies deserved these privileges just like their husbands or Presidents in office and out of office because when the pressure comes, nobody wants to know whether you are out of the villa or not.
She spoke at the launching of a book in Abuja authored by the President of the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA), Mrs Vickie Anwuli Irabor, titled, “The Journey of a Military Wife”.
Explaining why the privileges should be extended to first ladies, Mrs Buhari said, “I married my husband as the wife of a former president. I am going in a few days as a wife of a former president a second time.
“They should consider us as former first ladies. They should incorporate the first ladies, give us some privileges that we deserve as first ladies, not just the former presidents”.
Commending Mrs Vickie Irabor for the book, Mrs Buhari said, “It is a factual, emotional book that will help officers’ wives navigate their lives noting, “It underscores women as agents of stability for the nation as the nation battled insurgency and other security challenges.
“It’s a guide and reference for military wives, and need for better support for military widows” pointing out that “insights from the book will help readers appreciate the challenges of of the military family”.
In his remarks, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State said Mrs Irabor’s book will promote national development even as he commended the military for containing insecurity in Imo state saying “The military has brought peace to our state”.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, commended the DEPOWA President for writing about the experiences of military families.
He said the book will aid the military to formulate a policy document on the welfare of military families.
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo who spoke on behalf of service chiefs commended the author for establishing a guide and reference for military wives.
He said the book launch was an opportunity to set aside a day to celebrate military women noting that a good military wife manages the home to enable the husband to focus on military duties.
Former Chiefs of Army Staff, Gen Alexander Ogomudia and Lt. Hen Tukur Buratai commended the author for her decision to write the book saying, “We are proud of her”.
In her remarks, Mrs Maryam Abacha while commending Mrs Irabor’s efforts called for greater cooperation amongst military families, recalling the good times she enjoyed as a military wife.
“I married my husband a long time ago. I married him as a civilian before he joined the army. We went through the war. He became commander, then GOC. We always pray to God for the soldiers and the nation.
“Those days in the 60s the mess was a friendly place where we learn a lot and exchange ideas. I pray that NAOWA, DEPOWA and others continue to thrive. I am very proud to be a soldier’s wife and very proud of the legacies we left”, she said.
Chairperson of the occasion, Sen Daisy Danjuma, wife of former Defence Minister and former Army Chief, Gen TY Danjuma, relieved the experience of military wives and experience of some military officers as well.
“We celebrated good times, and mourned when some were executed during coup d’etat,” she said.
“Army officers do not prevaricate when they want to marry. They give their wives room to develop, acquire more education. You know job and postings, you have to be strong”.
She however disclosed that “the country can never be on the right path until women are given their pride of place to play their role in the society and scheme of things”.
To Mrs Irabor, she said, “You have had a good career and risen to the top, you should now be thinking about retirement, you will now be like me”.
In her speech, Mrs Irabor said the military wife was an unsung heroine.
She noted that for many years, military wives were never celebrated in spite of being the ones operating behind the scene to support the career of their spouses in securing the nation.
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