By Dominic James
Members of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), led by their President, Mrs Salamatu Faruk Yahaya, on Tuesday, paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.
National Commissioner, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, who received the delegation on behalf of the Commission, commended the NAOWA members for their charitable work, especially empowering women, widows and youths.
He noted that, like NAOWA, the Commission was also passionate about Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs). He said that while the Commission does not give relief materials to IDPs, it ensures that they are not left out of the electoral process. “Whatever we do to other members of the society, those that have been displaced are also carried along,” he said.
Dr Ogunmola told his guests that the Commission had expanded voters’ access by creating additional polling units to ensure voters get to their voting points without problems.
He stated that following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission developed a policy on voting in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with the protocols established by the Federal Government.
He said the Commission also introduced the online pre-registration of voters, the first of its kind in the West African sub-region, enabling eligible would-be voters to begin their voter registration process online and complete it physically at any of the designated centres. This, he added, was also intended to reduce overcrowding at the Commission’s centres.
Mrs Yahaya said she was delighted to lead the national executive members of the association on a courtesy visit to the INEC Chairman.
Her words: “May I, therefore, start by expressing profound gratitude to Almighty Allah for making it possible for us to witness a day like this. It is, indeed, a day I will not forget, being a staff of INEC and for coming to the Commission in the capacity of the President of NAOWA.”
She said: “NAOWA is a non-profit and non-governmental organization with the objective of assisting the poor, the needy and raising the standard of living in the military barracks of the nation.
“Though the organization relies solely on donations and goodwill from philanthropists, it has positively impacted on so many lives and communities through the provision of water, health facilities, schools, skill acquisition centres and business centres, both within and outside the barracks community.
“This, no doubt, has empowered women, youths, widows and the less privileged, thus contributing to the nation’s manpower development. Additionally, let me say that our schools provide quality education to vulnerable children and youths within and outside our environment.”
She said the purpose of her visit was to convey her respect and express her profound appreciation to the Commission for the remarkable impact it had made on her person, especially in terms of administrative capability and human resources management skills gained over years of service in the Commission.
She continued: “the Hon Chairman’s leadership style, in particular, has made a positive impact and is worthy of emulation. I want to assure you that as a proud staff of this noble Commission, I will remain a good ambassador out there and at all times.”
She said that NAOWA’s Motto,” Unity and Charity”, ensures that “all the things we do are geared towards providing humanitarian services.
She continued: “Recently, we reached out to over 284 Nigerian Army personnel widows and carried out humanitarian outreach in Wassa Internally Displaced Persons Camp (IDP), to commemorate the Nigerian Army Day Celebration, where we provided relief materials to over 5000 IDPs.
“We also visited the Abuja Orphanage Home, Karu, where we donated food items, medical consumables, beddings and carried out thorough renovations of the babies and adult hostels. To keep up such gestures, sir, we will continue to seek your support and from other well-meaning Nigerians.”