Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Friday, said his administration will continue to support the welfares of the poor and vulnerable widows aimed at ameliorating the plights of the poor widows in the state.
Governor Okowa disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the Second National Summit on Widows’ Rights and Welfare with the theme” Sustainable solutions for widows financial independence” held at the Dome Event Centre, Asaba, which was organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Social Investment Programmes, Dr. Isioma Okonta, to mark the 2022 International Widows’ Day celebrations.
The governor who was represented by Hon. Commissioner for women affairs, Hon Flora Alatan thanked God for inspiring his administration to institute a welfare scheme for widows in the state through the state widows welfare scheme, and reiterated the need for total prohibition of harmful widowhood practices.
We have created a support system for the widows to survive in Delta State he stated.
He disclosed that it was the prayer and hope of his administration to sustain the widows welfare scheme for the poor and vulnerable widows in the state and to ensure that more vulnerable widows benefit from the already existing scheme.
“I want to thank God for what he has inspired us to do for widows in the state through the Delta State Widows Welfare Scheme.
He urged the widows to pray for improved economic fortunes of the state to enable it bring more poor and vulnerable widows into the scheme to alleviate their sufferings occasioned by the demise of their husbands.
In her remarks, Wife of the governor and Founder of the 05 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, represented by the permenent Secretary, ministry of women affairs, Mrs Kevwe Agas applauded the executive Governor of the State and the vice presidential candidate, his Excellency Governor Ifeanyi A. Okowa for initiating widows scheme that Caters for the poor widows mostly the poorest of the poor.
She lauded the Coordinator of Delta State Widows Welfare Scheme, Elder Isioma Okonta for effectively driving the vision of Governor Okowa for the less privileged widows in the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Social Investment Programmes and the State Coordinator, Widows Welfare Scheme, Elder Isioma Okonta said the widows welfare scheme was non-political, adding that the scheme also cuts across all religious divides.
Elder Dr. Isioma Okonta said that the names of widows enrolled in the programme were derived from the list collated and verified by the community leaders, religious leaders, civic leaders and traditional rulers and institutions.
According to him, only verified poor and vulnerable widows residing in Delta State were eligible for enrolment into the scheme, pointing out that a widow who is a civil servant or financially stable was not eligible for the scheme.
“Currently, there are 5,607 widows enrolled in the Delta State Widows Welfare Scheme. These widows have been benefiting from the scheme since 2018. The widows enrolled are predominantly aged, illiterate and have difficulties at financial independence.
“They are drawn from the 25 local government areas of the state and the 270 wards across the communities. The widows received N5,000 as monthly stipends and free healthcare services,” Okonta said.
However, the Senior Special Assistant and State coordinator, widows welfares scheme applauded Governor Okowa, the vice presidential candidate of peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for finding it expedient to look into the issues concerning widows welfare in the state.
While saying that women have right to their husbands’ property, he called on women to always speak out when ever there need, pointing out that they should not wait for somebody to speak for them.
The highpoint of the the program was the launching of Book authored by Elder Dr Isioma Okonta, titteled, The pains of widows.
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