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Int’l Widows Day: A’Ibom First Lady Donates Cash, Food, Wrappers To 250 Widows



Int’l Widows Day: A’Ibom First Lady Donates Cash, Food, Wrappers To 250 Widows

In commemoration of the 2024 International Widow’s Day globally observed on June 23, the wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Patience Umo Eno has empowered selected widows across the 31 Local Government Areas and members of some Non-Governmental Organizations for widows in the State.

The maiden Widows Enhancement Programme organised by the pet project of the Governor’s wife, Golden Initiative for All (GIFA) held at the Banquet Hall, Government House Uyo, where no fewer than 250 widows including those who had sent requests for assistance from the First Lady, going home with cash and gift items.

Pastor Patience Eno who thanked her husband, the Governor for making it possible for Akwa Ibom women to partake in the components of the ARISE Agenda, said the event became expedient to “raise awareness over the violation of human rights that widows suffer following the death of their spouses.”

The First Lady who is the Chairperson of the Akwa Ibom State Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Management Committee, frowned at the existence of various harmful widowhood practices and noted that with the domestication of the Widowhood law of 2013 and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) VAPP law of 2020 in Akwa Ibom, the full weight of the law would apply to anyone troubling widows in the state with outdated traditional practices.

“As the Chairperson of the State GBV Committee, I stand here today to reaffirm my support to you all. I will not hesitate to fight for you and any case of injustice against widows that is brought to my attention would be given due attention by me,” said the Governor’s Wife.

Pastor Patience Eno directed the different NGO’s for widows in the State who attended the event to create clusters for the training of their members on entrepreneurial skills to ensure their economic growth and development.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Ini Adiakpan and a member of the GIFA team Mrs Anne Abraham commended the Governor’s wife for her motherly love and concern for the women who had been traumatized by the harmful widowhood practices in their different communities, urging them to leave the ceremony emboldened by the information shared by the resource persons.

The Director of the Akwa Ibom State Multi – Door Courthouse, Magistrate Helen Umana and the FIDA Chairperson, Barrister Iquo Abia took turns to enlighten the widows on the Laws which protect them against harmful widowhood practices in the State while encouraging them to speak up and report to appropriate authorities whenever such negative cultural issues arise in their communities.

In an exhortation on the theme “A Wise Widow”, Bishop Enobong Essien, encouraged the widows not to be overwhelmed by their present circumstances, but to brace up and forge ahead, assuring them of the ever-abiding presence and help of God.

Responding on behalf of beneficiaries, Madam Alice Uwah, thanked the Governor’s Wife over their selection for participation in the Widows Enhancement Programme, a development that has given them a sense of belonging as beneficiaries of Governments benevolence.

The event featured the distribution of bags of rice, wrappers and cash gifts to the beneficiaries, who also went home with pepper seedlings provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.