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First Lady Applauds Oluchukwu's Landmark as Nigeria's First Female British Military Academy Graduate

The First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu has commended Second Lt. Oluchukwu Owowoh for emerging as the first Nigerian female cadet to graduate from the Royal Military Academy (RMA), Sandhurst, United Kingdom.

Mrs Tinubu, who received Owowoh, led by Maj.-Gen. John Ochia, the Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), to the State House on Monday described her achievement as outstanding and divine.

“Your story is that of aspiration, resilient and determination, really, your case is divine; it is not because you studied very hard but because God selected you for a purpose.

“It is going to be from glory to glory, that is why we are here to celebrate you for what you have done, and I know that you still have more worlds ahead of you.

“I pray that goodness and mercy will continue to follow you. The nation would continually celebrate you because of what you have done.

Oluremi also commended the Nigeria Army for giving a female, the chance to excel.

“I want to thank the Nigerian Army for giving you that opportunity, for realising that this is your time and you did not disappoint them.

“You have opened doors for other women so that they can look at them and given them a trial.

“I pray that God will teach you every step of the way, how to behave and you will bring joy to your generation and generation unborn because you have become a reference.

Oluremi further encouraged the nation’s youth to emulate Owowoh’ resiliency and caution them to desist from being destructive, lousy and problematic.

She however, recommended Owowoh for a national award and encouraged her superiors to encourage her to become a youth advocate for others to learn positively from her.

Earlier, Ochai had said that Owowoh’s outstanding performance, marks history amidst countries like India, Pakistan, Qatar, UK, Canada, Australia and others, who brought their best to be trained in that institution where she succeeded.

He said that Owowoh was subjected to rigorous trainings and that she exceled. “If she was male, we would have left it at that but because she is a female we tested her and she came first in academics, even in the physical training, she went through a tough  process until her male colleagues even noticed that we do not have to go further.

“In the male dominant profession like this, in the Army in particular, what is significant about her graduation is that the RMA, is one of the oldest military training institutions for the training of officers for armed forces of countries in the commonwealth and UK.

“ The significance of Owowoh’s case is that, in the cause of the training, we selected the best; she surpassed the record of over 200 male cadet officers, when we did the selection, she came first and we doubted her.

“Secondly, she is going on a global skill, are we going to risk putting her there and probably if she eventually did not graduate, then it will be an embarrassment to the nation, we subjected her to another test and she came first again.

“In that academy, gender is not given preference to, as a matter of fact even in their accommodation, they share other facilities and control the same training, no concession, if you fail at any point you will drop and she came out as the best.

“It is on that note that I wish to present Owowoh to you,’’ Ochai said.

Mrs Oghogho Musa, the President of Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association, (DEPOWA), on behalf of other officer’s wives associates, who also accompanied the celebrant, appreciated the Nigerian Army for giving Owowoh the chance to shine.

“We are sincerely grateful, today, our hearts are full with gladness because like the commandant said, the NDA is dominated by men and our sister excelled  and became the overall best.

“We are grateful to God for giving us such a brilliant officer and keeping the flag flying for us. As women, we are happy that the inclusions we are talking about, we are seeing the result now.’’

Musa said that her success would create rooms for more women in the military to be included in key decision making and get involved in other notable exercises.

Owowoh in her response, expressed gladness and gratitude for the supports she got, saying that “the nation should expect greater things from her.

“I feel honoured, I am overwhelmed because this does not come like an everyday breakfast. It comes due to my hard work, dedication, God’s grace and mentorship from my officers and my parent’s advice, all this come together for me to be where I am today.

“Nigeria should expect the best from me; I will give in my best in my capacity with the help of God and with the Nigeria Army giving me the backup that is required.

“I will also try to learn what is specific to my, field, to my corps and try my best to deliver what I can.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Owowoh, a 23-year officer of the Nigerian Armed Forces, graduated from RMA in a colourful sovereign parade on April 12.

She was a member 70 Regular Course before she proceeded to the RMA for training. Owowoh passed out as second lieutenant alongside 24 other International Cadets with honours and was recognized for her exceptional  performance during her time at the RMA.

NAN also reports that Other dignitaries, who  received Owowoh alongside the first lady were Wife of the Vice President, Hajia Nana Shettima, wife of the Chief of Army Staff, Mrs Maria Lagbaja among others.

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