The outgoing First Lady, Aisha Buhari, on Friday, has said that certain privileges should be accorded to wives of former Presidents after the expiration of their tenures.
She made the declaration 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’.
The outgoing First Lady listed such privileges to include the provision of vehicles, sponsored medical treatments and provision of some stipends, among others.
She pointed out that first ladies deserved these privileges just like their husbands or Presidents in office and out of office saying that “when the pressure comes, nobody wants to know whether you are out of the villa or not.”
While justifying the reasons such 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 and give us some privileges that we deserve as first ladies, not just the former presidents
She commended Mrs Irabor for the book, noting that, “It is a factual, emotional book that will help officers’ wives navigate their lives. “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 the need for better support for military widows, the insights from the book will help readers appreciate the challenges of the military family,”
In his remarks, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State said Mrs Irabor’s book will promote national development.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, commended the DEPOWA President for writing about the experiences of military families.
He said that the book would 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 that 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. Gen Tukur Buratai commended the author for her decision to write the book saying, “We are proud of her”.
In her remarks, a former First Lady, 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.
According to her, “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.”
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.
Said she, “We celebrated good times and mourned when some were executed during coup d’etat.
“Army officers do not prevaricate when they want to marry. They give their wives room to develop and acquire more education. You know job and postings, you have to be strong.”
In her speech, Mrs Irabor said that the military wife was an unsung heroine, noting 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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