Lulu-Briggs Foundation begins free legal services for widows

Florence Uwaeme

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Dr Mrs Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, has announced free legal service support for widows.

She stated this at the West African Social Activities held on Saturday at the Port Harcourt Barracks.

Her attendance was at the invitation of the General Officer Commanding 6 Division Port Harcourt, Maj. General F. O. Agugo, attended the

The event, which signalled the end of military activities for 2019 and attracted participation from far and wide brought together officers and soldiers of the 6 Division in a convivial atmosphere to celebrate and honour Army families.

Among dignitaries who graced the event were the Governor of Rivers State represented by Hon. Dr. Tammy Danagogo, the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, Commander Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) and Brig-Gen. T. R. Afio, Commander 6 Division Garrison.

Dr. Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs commended the GOC, the officers and soldiers of the 6 Division Port Harcourt for sustaining peace, security and safety in the Niger Delta region. She said in credit to their sacrificial duties to our nation, citizens and expatriates now find the Niger Delta region a safe haven to live and do business in. She announced the provision of free scholarships for 150 children of fallen soldiers as well as five million naira, 200 bags of rice and free legal services to widows of fallen soldiers facing any form of oppression on the basis of their being widows.

In a moving speech that coincided with the 3rd cancelled burial date of her husband (25th January 2020) by his 3 eldest sons she said, “although I am bereaved of my dearly beloved husband, the High Chief Dr O. B. Lulu-Briggs, God bless his soul, a distinguished nationalist, statesman and philanthropist extraordinaire, I took particular interest in accepting this invitation and being here on this day because this is an event that brings families together, including widows like me, who have been left without husbands and children who have been left without fathers most of whom have paid the ultimate price for the security and integrity of our nation.

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“As Chairman of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, I am here to further strengthen our partnership with the 6 Division Nigerian Army in supporting soldiers’ wives and widows who are the bedrock and strength of Army families, the primary support-base of officers and soldiers whose sworn allegiance to our beloved Nigeria is to keep the rest of us safe and secure. Ours is a partnership that began 5 years ago, and which we intend to sustain for as long as God in His gracious benevolence enables us to.”

“It is also important to say that as a people, beyond the walls of this barracks, it is time we rose together as one to do more to protect widows from stigmatization, persecution and oppression by those who seek to take advantage of their bereavement. Widows should rather be comforted and empowered to sustain the families they are left with after the passing of their beloved husbands. I believe it is time for a more coordinated approach in protecting widows and ensuring that those who victimize, persecute and dehumanize them are made to face laws that do not just bark but actually bite. It is something I am personally committed to.” She said the support of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation to the widows of deceased soldiers was to assure them that they were not forgotten and that the sacrifices of their beloved husbands in defending our nation are very well appreciated.

“Based on my personal bitter, harrowing and shocking experience after the passing of my dearly beloved husband even at the graceful age of 88, I now understand better the horror and terror faced by some widows when they are most vulnerable. Therefore, to ensure that the widows of our fallen heroes are not persecuted for any reason associated with the loss of their husbands, the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation is instituting a free legal service to help protect widows’ rights and uphold their dignity as respectable members of society. The free legal service will cover the cost of providing legal advice and adjudication of cases in court against the persecution of widows who want to defend their rights but lack the financial means to do so.”

Dr. Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs hailed the GOC, the officers and men of the 6 Division for the success of the event, which she noted showcased diverse cultural performances from across Nigeria.