Tuesday, 4th October 2022
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NOWA: Naval chief’s wife, Aisha Gambo champions charity for developmental reforms in Nigerian Navy

The impact of the efforts of the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) under the sterling leadership of Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo

The impact of the efforts of the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) under the sterling leadership of Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in welfare-related projects in charitable ventures which include education, economic empowerment, health, and social services cannot be overemphasised.

Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo

The Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) is a forum to provide service to humanity, as well as a platform for solving social and societal problems. NOWA has so far provided opportunity for social interaction that facilitated the promotion of love, harmony and cooperation among naval officers’ wives and their families. These noble principles have guided the activities of the association with various degrees of emphasis. In the last five decades, NOWA has recorded a number of achievements in its efforts to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in welfare-related projects in the barracks. These are in the areas of education, charitable ventures, economic empowerment, health, social services and sporting activities.

However, in line with established tradition and the need to build on the successes recorded in more than five decades of the existence of the association, the current leadership of NOWA under the leadership of Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo, its 21st president l and wife of the 21st Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, (Admiralty Medal) has continued to implement welfare-related projects, contributing to the operational efficiency of the Nigerian Navy.

Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo noted that the involvement of women in nation-building is an inalienable right, as well as, an inescapable reality for a holistic and comprehensive political, economic and social advancement in the modern world.

She said over time, some women who have been entrusted with leading roles to manage human and material resources have more often than not proved that given adequate backing, they can perform creditably.

“Indeed, the 21st Century has birthed the long-awaited desire of women to be in the corridors of power, to be vocal about their needs and to execute their dreams by contributing their quota to national development,” she said.

Since taking over the mantle of leadership of the association on February 27, 2021, Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo said she remained consistent in enhancing and improving the welfare of families of officers and ratings in the barracks.

Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo said she has also expanded the scope and reach of the activities of the association to touch the lives of the needy in rural communities across the country.

“I am sure, you can tell from some of our projects and outreach programmes that led your magazine to locate the association in the first place,” she said, adding that even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic whose effect affected that association it has continued to give orphans a haven and mitigating the challenges of the pandemic to ensure they are still catered for.

She noted that “COVID-19 came and caused a lot of disruptions globally some of which we are still facing, but as wives of military officers we are taught to always face our problems head-on. So, we always move irrespective of the situation or situations on the ground.”

On humanitarian efforts of the association, she said NOWA over the years has reached out to lots of orphanage homes and is still doing so.

According to her, “We go to different areas and different communities across the country to provide succour.”

Historically, NOWA came into being on 30 November 1965 under the leadership of Mrs. Anne Wey, wife of the first indigenous Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey of blessed memory.

She said it started as a small “Tea Group” for light-hearted discussion by wives of naval officers to kill boredom because of the regular absence of their husbands to sea and also as a forum of rendering assistance to wives of naval ratings in and out of the barracks.

“It was and still is a forum where social problems relating to the less privileged in the society are discussed and where contributions are made to assist the needy,” she said.

However, as part of efforts to ensure that Nigerians living in the rural communities have access to drinkable water, she said NOWA launched a clean water project across the nation. Some of the areas that have benefited from the project are Tafa Community, Niger State Clean Water Project, Sauna Kawaji, Nassarawa LGA, Kano State, Sauna Kawaji, Nassarawa LGA, Kano State, Sauna Kawaji, Nassarawa Coucil, Kano State, Rumueme Community, Obio Akpor Council, Port Harcourt, Rangaza Ward, Ungogo Council, Kano State, Ogale Village, Oleme Council, Port Harcourt, Obio Akpor Council, Port Harcourt, Kaida Village, Gwagwalada, FCT Clean Water Project, Jagbe Village, Etsako West, Edo State, Iraki Village, Kogi State Clean Water Project, Hausa Quarters, Warri, Delta State, Dosara Gishiri, Kano State Water Project, and Chief Frank Nelson Street Okobay Community Ahoada West Council, Rivers State.

Speaking further, she said there are Naval Officers Wives Association Daycare, Nursery and Primary Schools across the country which are meant to cater to the academic needs of naval officers’ children as well as the general public.

She also acknowledges the fact that teachers have the largest in-school impact on student achievement, hence NOWA pays attention that experienced teachers are recruited.

According to her, “We also know that teacher quality has a greater impact on student outcomes than any other factor, including race, socioeconomic status, and prior academic record. In fact, according to researchers Hanushek and Rivken, “having three years of good teachers (85th percentile) in a row would overcome the average achievement deficit between low-income kids on free or reduced-price lunch and others.”

Besides, having quality teachers, she said NOWA incorporates and integrates a good learning environment which, according to her, in turn, creates a positive classroom environment that helps to improve attention, reduce anxiety, and supports the emotional and behaviour of students.

Speaking further, she said when educators foster a positive learning culture; learners are more likely to acquire higher motivation that leads to impactful and wonderful learning outcomes.

“Our schools are located at NOWA Secondary School, Karshi, Ojo, Calabar, Effurun, Offa, Ojo, Okoko, Port-Harcourt and Apapa,” she said.

Also, in line with its mandate to ensure that businesses and startups strive, she said the Naval Officers´ Wives Association is committed to making life easy for traders.

“NOWA owns several shopping malls which are given at affordable rates, we believe this will ease the burden of business and shop owners,” she said.

Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo, however, advises wives of Naval Officers’ to halt comparing themselves with their co officers wives.

She stressed that humans are different, adding that everyone has his/her own unique path.

According to her, “Two individuals cannot have the same appointment and the men can all not have good or the best appointment at the same time.

“So, make good use of whichever place your spouse is working by putting less pressure on him and this is by not making unnecessary and frivolous demands from him.

“As a military wife, you should try and assist the family by also contributing, which is by getting something to do aside from being a wife. And this must not necessarily be a white-collar job.

“My take personally, is that as a military wife I would even suggest that it is easier to run a personal business because that way you will be able to take care of the home front better because our husbands are mostly away.”

Speaking further, she advised that as a military officer’s wife that they should work to support the home front so that aside from what the man is bringing in they should also have a source of income.

“Aside from the special respect he will have for you as his wife. He will be assured that whether he is around or at work, you can take care of the home front. I can say that peace of mind is something we owe our husbands as military wives.

“This is essential because for them to be focused to do the work ahead of them and achieve the desired result in line with global international practice, a lot of stress needs to be taken off their shoulders.”

Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo also advised young girls in the country to have role models and mentors.

On the importance of having a role model, she said role models and mentors help “to motivate us to strive to uncover our true potential and overcome our weaknesses.”

She added that having a role model pushes us to make the most of our life, adding that a mentor can help us focus our efforts by setting goals.