23rd June, 2021
By Nimot Sulaimon
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Widows’ Day, the Wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has called on all and sundry to continue to show support and care for widows who are usually marginalised and forgotten in society.
Mrs Akeredolu made this call today, in Akure, the Ondo State capital, in commemoration of the day, marked globally every 23rd of June to create awareness of the plight faced by women when they lose their spouse and highlight solutions to these problems.
She noted that this year’s theme “Invisible women, invisible problems” seeks to bring to attention the miseries, issues, and challenges faced by women immediately after the death of their husbands, urged society to rally around widows to help them ease the burdens of their situation.
“Most widows around us suffer in silence, their fundamental human right is sometimes threatened in their search for daily bread and other traumatic experiences; as a decent society, we must extend our hands of fellowship, identify with these women and provide every necessary support.
Her Excellency, Arabinrin Akeredolu, had last year launched the Ondo widows care initiative where incentives and other goodies were given to thousands of registered widows across the 18 local government of Ondo State regardless of party, religion or age through the data collated on the website www.ondowidows.com.
“Last year we launched the widow’s website so that widows in every nook and cranny of Ondo state can register regardless of who they are. The widows on this site are visible to the government.
“Furthermore, the statistics such as age, employment status, demography etc. are available to the Government through the Office of the First Lady and this will enable the government to plan, manage and evenly distribute resources to the widows. Today we have over twenty-six thousand widows on the site. The site is accessible to all to view. “
She further stated that the present administration prioritises their needs and would continue to put in place measures to make life devoid of hardship and more meaningful for them.
“For emphasis, it is worthy to note that the government of the day in Ondo State, led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has always shown his unflinching support to cater for the welfare of citizens, as evidenced in the recent presentation of cash gifts to senior citizens by the administration at the flag-off of the program “feeding of the elders”, in commemoration of Mr Governor’s first 100 days in the second term and today more widows across the 18 LGAs will receive their alerts.”
“Let me assure you that challenges faced as widows will not be ignored and the government of Ondo state will continue to provide succour.”
Arabinrin Akeredolu lauded every stakeholder, notably, women advocate groups, for supporting and defending widows and their dependents in their domains.
The First Lady described widows’ pain as “unique and volatile”, stressing that “they must be encouraged and motivated in all ramifications.”
Betty Akeredolu urged the widows to be courageous and not to be physically and emotionally exhausted by their griefs, adding that the government will not relent in protecting their rights.