Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has lauded the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) for its humanitarian initiatives which have won hearts and minds thereby contributing immensely to the non-kinetic approach to counterinsurgency operations.
The air force chief spoke when President of DEPOWA, Mrs Oghogho Gwabin Musa, paid him a courtesy call at Headquarters Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Abuja.
A statement by NAF Headquarters also noted that non-kinetic warfare or soft power, which is the ability to influence others through attraction, persuasion, and diplomacy rather than through force, was an essential compliment used in holistically addressing the current security impasse in the country.
“Since our efforts have been mostly geared towards kinetic operations which can only solve barely 25 per cent of the problem, DEPOWA initiatives as well as those of similar associations go a long way in enhancing civil-military relations while winning the confidence of the populace,” he said.
In paying glowing tribute to the wives of military and police personnel, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that they were among the strongest and most courageous, stating that their synergy creates amazing things.
“It takes a brave woman to stand by a man who is committed to the defence of his country even at the risk of his own life. You are our pillars of strength and the unsung heroes that support us through every battle.
“You are the source of our motivation to win the way we know that we have a loving family and caring support system waiting for us back home”, he said.
While noting that DEPOWA has metamorphosed into one of the most renowned women organisations in the country, performing exceptional philanthropic and humanitarian activities, he urged the association to connect with other like-minded organisations as collaborations can amplify the impact of their efforts. He also advised them to seek partnerships and continue to build supportive networks to strengthen each other.
Earlier, Mrs Oghogho Musa informed the CAS that DEPOWA was created as the umbrella body unifying armed forces and police officers’ wives’ associations with the mandate to ensure their wives are responsible amidst challenges faced by their husbands in the line of duty.
She noted that over the years, DEPOWA had positively touched the lives of the less privileged and vulnerable in the society through skills acquisition programs, providing schooling facilities, charity and economic growth opportunities amongst others.
Mrs Musa went on to stress that the association intends to do more for youths in the barracks through access to knowledge in information technology in efforts at further reducing poverty.
According to her, “DEPOWA intends reaching out to the most vulnerable in our various barracks and surrounding communities as well as commence the training of widows drawn from all the Associations to further empower them to be self-reliant in assisting their families.”
Other areas of focus by DEPOWA include assisting internally displaced persons and visiting wounded soldiers to provide additional aid for their recovery as part of the armed forces peace building agenda channeled towards the non-kinetic support in the fight against terrorism.
The National President of DEPOWA was accompanied by the National President of Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association, Architect (Mrs) Rekiya Abubakar, National President Police Officers’ Wives Association, Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun and other Executive members.