The widow of a fallen Air Force Squadron Leader, Cynthia Ubah, on Sunday called for speedy payment of the life insurance benefits and other entitlements due their grieving families.
Ubah’s husband, Victor Ubah, was killed in an ambush during a joint operation in Kebbi State, on July 7, 2021.
Although she received the benefits due her within one month of her husband’s demise, she said other military families have not been so fortunate.
According to her “It has started taking a long time to compensate the families. “Before, it used to take a shorter while. Now? Families have to wait, keep waiting and keep calling.
“Mine didn’t take time, thankfully. But I have seen others in this situation and they’ve been complaining that it has taken them a very long time.
“Mine was between a month or two. But for some, it’s stretching from nine months to a year now. Which is really not telling well about them. But I believe they (the military) are doing their best. Hopefully, they get to settle these people.”
She said the remembrance ceremony is a message to her and the families of other slain personnel that their loved ones did not die in vain.
“It doesn’t make it look like they fought in vain, they are being remembered and their families are being remembered. Although it brings back a lot of memories, but it’s fine. We pray for peace, let it not be that they died in vain.
“We’ve been getting a lot of support from the Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association and the military men. We’ve been getting support from different angles and they promised to continue supporting,” she revealed.
Earlier, the President, Major-General Muhmammadu Buhari (retd.), led senior government officials at the wreath-laying ceremony to mark the finale of this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
Buhari who arrived at the National Arcade at 10:05 am was immediately ushered onto the saluting dais for the National Salute.
He also inspected the Guards of Honour, accompanied by the Commander, Brigade of Guards, Maj-Gen. Muhammad Usman, after which he proceeded to the Cenotaph for the Wreath-Laying Ceremony proper.
Prayers were offered for the departed and their families by the Director, Nigerian Navy Religious Affairs, Commander Robert Oparaji; Director of Islamic Affairs, Nigerian Airforce, Air Commodore Luqman Abiodun and acting Director Chaplain Services, Nigerian Army, Lt. Col. Bilson Newton.
Other dignitaries who laid wreaths after the President includea Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola.
Others include the pair of the Ministers of Defense and the Federal Capital Territory, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi and Muhammed Bello, respectively; the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor and the service chiefs as well as the Inspector-General General of Police, Usman Baba; representatives of the Diplomatic Corps; and the pair of the Chairman of the Nigerian Legion and widow of a fallen soldier, Cynthia Ubah.
Also in attendance were members of the Federal Executive Council, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the President’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd.); Permanent Secretaries; amongst others.
Buhari also performed the symbolic freeing of white doves out of cages during the event.
The 2023 wreath-laying ceremony is his last as Commander-in-Chief.