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26 Years After: Widows Of C-130 Crash Victims Seek Improved Welfare

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Families of the victims of C-130 Hercules Air Force plane crash which occurred 26 years ago has appealed to the Nigerian Armed Force to make good its promises and improve on the welfare of widows and children of the fallen heroes. LEDADERSHIP reports that the C-130 plane, which had 158 passengers onboard and crashed at Ejigbo canal in Lagos three minutes after its take off in 1992. Speaking during the interdenominational service at the National Cemetery yesterday in Abuja, the President C-130 Armed Forces Widows Foundation International said many states have not fulfilled the promises made to the families in terms of welfare and provision of accommodation.
The wife of late Maj. Markus Pinda, Mrs Hadiza lamented that some of the children who were born immediately after the unfortunate incident are not captured in the plan and called on the military to include children of women who were pregnant during the incident.

“Today is the 26th anniversary of our husband’s demise, it has not been easy but God has been our strength and pillars.
“The challenges have been enormous; the military sponsor some of the students, but for some of us they stopped half way.
“At that period, some of the widows were pregnant, they now have children that are 25 years old and none of them are under the scholarship,” she said.
Hadiza added that some states are yet to provide accommodation to the widows as earlier promised.
Speaking further, she called on the military to reduce collateral damage on soldiers as no soldier wants to go to war and die but rather to return home to his families.
“The country has been in conflict so there are many widows now, we don’t want the younger widows to go through the stress we went through.
“The army should try and reduce collateral damage on the military, nobody wants to go to war and die. Everybody wants to go to war and return to his family,” she said.
Mrs Stella Onabolu commended the Navy for taking responsibility of the children’s school fees.
Mrs Onabolu, however, lamented that other benefits such as housing, car and other entitlements are yet to be given to them.
Some children of the deceased who spoke to LEADERSHIP said they were not aware if the government was doing anything to better their lives.
Ngozi Okoroji, Salamatu Bashir Daranijo and Dupe Agoji said they grew up without a father but they have come to pray for their souls.

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