The Wife of Lagos State Governor, Bolanle Ambode,has apportioned N10 million to widows, mothers of triplets and some Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, in the state in order to empower them.
The empowerment programme done in conjunction with the Hope for Women Foundation (HOFOWEN)
saw the widows and others receiving cheques ranging from N100,000 and above.The beneficiaries included 32 widows, 14 mothers with multiple births, five NGOs and others. The event was held at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria yesterday.
Speaking at the empowerment programme, Ambode decried the plight of widows in the country and called
for adequate support for them.
“Societies thrive when the burden on widows are made lighter and the less privileged are assisted in a
number of ways to live better lives. No society thrives in an atmosphere where this class of people
are continuously ignored or schemed out of welfare calculation,” she said.
According to her, the condition of widowhood is a bitter pill that no woman ever wants to swallow as
she is left to cater for herself and the children after the demise of her husband, apart from being
subjected to debasing cultural practice.
Mrs. Ambode also said mothers who gave birth to multiple babies also needed to be supported as the
burden of taking care of these babies is enormous.
“We also have women, who in their quest to fulfill their marital roles of procreation and motherhood,
were blessed with multiple babies in a single birth. This, in most cases, is more than their moderate
expectation of one baby or maximum of two and what is supposed to be a blessing now becomes a
concern for the family,” Ambode said.
She beckoned on widows to take the issue of economic empowerment very seriously, saying that “they must
seek to be gainfully employed through a regular paid job or vocational skill that would generate regular
income to meet their vital needs. A stable income gives some guarantee of happiness and preserves the
dignity and self-worth of the women,” she said.
She assured that the state government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation
(WAPA) would be readily available to assist widows and less privileged in that direction, and urged them
to take advantage of the many vocational training centers of the Ministry located across the state.
Ambode stated that as government could not do everything alone, people must come to the aid of the less privileged and support them.
HOFOWEM Convener, Mrs Adeleke Oyefunke on her part, said the empowerment programme was put
together after a careful study of the trend in the society by the Foundation whereby it was discovered
that much help was not coming for the widows and the less privileged.
She thanked Mrs. Ambode for her partnership with the Foundation to bring joy and happiness to the
vulnerable in the society, she said “We are eternally grateful to her Excellency for her kind and humane
disposition towards the people of the state,especially women and children.”