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Relief for widows as CBO empowers 17

By Amidu Arije

Windows are faced with lots of challenges after the demise of their husbands. Such challenges include disturbances from husband’s family members, lack of care and financial burdens on the woman.

Oftentimes, some widows are thrown out of the husband’s house by family members. Some of them are even accused of killing their husbands.

Such is the case for this Mrs. Rachael Ukaegbu. Hers has been a tale of sorrow since 15 years ago when she lost her darling husband to the cold hands of death. Ukaegbu, who had hitherto lived a life of comfort and serenity, now has to squat with a friend in a one-room apartment in Oshodi, no thanks to her husband’s family members, who sent her packing out of their rented apartment.

As a petty trader, Ukaegbu resorted to selling groundnut and other groceries in front of a house within the Oshodi community. The 57-year-old woman narrated her difficult journey through life after her husband’s exit.

“Since after the demise of my husband 15 years ago, it has not been easy for me. It Is only God that has been sustaining me and the children.

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“As I am now, I have no house I can call home to put my head. I have been squatting with neighbours all these years.

“Even that place is not conducive for all of us to live but we are managing ourselves. I stay there with my last born; there is nothing for us to feed on, the day we see food we eat and any day we don’t have anything to eat, we go hungry all day,” she said.

Narrating further, Ukaegbu said her situation wouldn’t have been this bad if her late husband’s family cared to ask of her and the children and render their little assistance to them.

“No member of my husband’s family asked of me and the children again; we have been living all alone. We have been managing ourselves,” she added.

The faithful widow disclosed that she had always been hopeful in God that one day she would be assisted to get back to the business she was doing before she fell sick some years back.

As fate would have it, her cries were met, as succour came her way last Sunday through a community-based organisation, Oshodi Noble Heritage.

The group uplifted her petty trade alongside 17 with N20,000 start up nonrefundable capital each.

“I was frying and selling groundnut before I hell sick; it was really serious. After I recovered from the sickness, I couldn’t do anything again because I had no money to get back to business.

“But with this money given to me, I will be able to go back to my business. I pray may God help them too in their activities in life,” she stated.

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While presenting the money to the beneficiaries, Chairman of the Oshodi Noble Heritage, Mr. AbdulFatah Ogunnaike, said the aim of the programme was to bring succour to widows, who have no one to cater for them. He said it was a way of helping them ameliorate their sufferings.

“This empowerment programme is one of our numerous programmes we do in the community.

“Our mission is to impact on the lives of the people within our community. We observe that the government pays no attention to the plight of the widows, so we felt in our little way we could assist the widows to eke a living with this token and also to help them grow their businesses,” he said.

Ogunnaike also called on the government and well-to-do in the society to begin to show concern for widows and ensure they are supported in every way possible to enable them earn a living.

“It is also a way of calling on the government and the well-to-do in the society to pay adequate attention to widows’ plight,” Ogunnaike said.