*Aims to boost school enrollment, and education within military community-Ihejirika
By Ngozi James
Mrs Nnenna Ihejirika, wife of a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, on Saturday commissioned a staff quarters at the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) College in Abuja.
Ihejirika commissioned the newly constructed facilities at a ceremony organised by NAOWA to honour her legacies alongside, Mrs Martha Bamaiyi, also the wife of former COAS. The association also commissioned a 500-seat multipurpose hall at the model nursery and primary school, Asokoro.
The newly constructed staff quarters were named “Mrs Nnenna Ihejirika Staff Quarters”, while the hall was named after Mrs Martha Bamaiyi, both past presidents of the association.
Ihejirika, who established NAOWA College in 2013, expressed her delight saying the commissioning of the quarters was a dream come true for her. Speaking in an interview with Global Sentinel, Ihejirika disclosed that during her tenure as NAOWA president, her vision was to ensure that quality education is delivered in schools within the military barracks.
She noted that ensuring the availability of facilities such as the newly commissioned staff quarters will motivate teachers to perform their job better and ultimately boost education.
“First of all I want to thank God almighty; as the NAOWA president the dream came to my mind to have quality education for our children and that’s how the idea of putting a befitting place where our children can compete with children in schools outside the barracks came. So I decided to put up the NAOWA college,” she said.
“I am very glad that they are putting teachers’ quarters around the school to be able to monitor activities and the work the pupils are doing. I don’t know how to express my feelings, I am very happy. It’s one thing to have an idea to do something, it’s another thing for people to recognise what you have done,” Ihejirika further said.
She commended successive NAOWA presidents for sustaining the vision of past leaders while also urging them to do more. Ihejirika thanked the NAOWA President for recognising her by naming the staff quarters after her.
Mrs Salamatu Yahaya, president, NAOWA, speaking, said the commissioning ceremony is an avenue to celebrate and immortalize the past presidents who, according to her, have made noteworthy impacts on the growth structure of the association.
Yahaya said the structures were products of her vision of sustaining legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service. “Indeed, NAOWA has had great leaders who have carved a niche for themselves and secured ample space in the association’s hall of fame through their remarkable leadership styles and establishments of sustainable legacies,” she added.
“As such, sustaining these legacies through maintenance of existing structures, construction of additional structures, standardisation of all facilities, enhancement of quality services through capacity development programmes for NAOWA members and staff, are operating principles of vision,” she further said.
The NAOWA president also presented various gift items to 19 staff of NAOWA model nursery and primary school, Asokoro who have out in an average of 15 years of meritorious service in the school, to appreciate them for their handwork, commitment, perseverance and determination in the developmental process of the school.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Yahaya commended the efforts of the past and present leadership of NAOWA for their foresight in supporting the educational development of the Nigerian army. He pledged to continue to support NAOWA in their quest to touch lives within and outside the barracks.