Wife of the Oyo State governor, Engr. Tamunominini Olufunke Makinde, has declared that the state government under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde remains determined to protect the rights of widows and empower them to face challenges of life.
Mrs. Makinde, who stated this on Wednesday in commemoration of the 2020 International Widow’s Day, noted that the present government in Oyo state has the interest of widows at heart and will continue to make policies to empower them.
A statement from the Office of the First Lady made available to newsmen in Ibadan, quoted Mrs. Makinde as saying that the welfare of the widows will always remain a priority for the government of Oyo State.
Mrs. Makinde said: “The present government in Oyo State, led by Governor Oluseyi Makinde, has the interest of widows at heart and, with his support today, we will be presenting you with gifts such as rice, beans, vegetable oil and gifts of cash to go home with.
“So, be assured that the government will continue to give resources and make policies that will empower widows.
“Widows, all over the world, face a lot of hardship such as to meet their daily needs and to care for their children. In some cases, widows are forced to partake in harmful and degrading traditional practices.
“As widows struggle to meet their daily needs in developing countries like Nigeria, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, their basic need for survival has increased. So, today, as we celebrate widows, we call for more solid plans; the plans they can benefit from and be empowered by to provide for themselves and their children.
“Women, my dear sisters and mothers, I acknowledge the plight of the widows who are here in Oyo State. You bear loads of responsibilities, which you endure alone. In the light of this, the Oyo State government is determined to protect your rights and empower you to cope with the challenges you are confronted with.”
The First Lady encouraged widows to boost their self-worth and not resort to self-pity, urging them to take care of their wards and always look up to God.
She presented cash and food items to the widows in attendance.
She said: “My dear mothers and sisters, I urge you to do all you can to boost your self-worth and not subject yourself to self-pity. Take good care of your children and always look up to God.
“I pray that the Lord will continue to sustain you all. Once again, thank you all for coming here today, I encourage you to remain healthy for yourselves and your children.”
The event held at the Presidential Lodge of the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, had in attendance the wife of the Deputy Governor, Professor Bolanle Olaniyan; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Alhaja Fausat Sanni and her counterpart in the Special Duties ministry, Hon. Funmi Orisadeyi, and a host of others.