By Oluwafemi Ojo
Akure – Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, on Friday said he had empowered no fewer than 200 widows to cushion the effect of economic burden.
The speaker, who is from Ifedore Local Government Area, said that the programme was single-handedly sponsored by his foundation, Oleyelogun International Foundation (OIF).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that items presented to the beneficiaries include: cash gift, food stuffs, bathing and washing soaps, toiletries, among others.
Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, who flagged-off presentation of palliatives/relief items to the windows at the local government secretariat in Igbara-Oke, lauded the speaker for the good gesture.
Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy, Agboola Ajayi, said that the relief items would no doubt go a long way in improving the lives of the widowhood in the area.
The governor commended Oleyelogun for representing his constituents well.
Akeredolu said that the present administration was doing everything possible to empower women and lifted many women-oriented programmes.
The governor identified the programmes to include: micro-credit facilities, empowerment and skills acquisition aimed at enhancing their positions and give them rightful place in the scheme of things.
Akeredolu reassured the people that all the ongoing projects in various communities in Ifedore would cut across all wards in the local government area.
According to him, government will continue to do its best to put smiles on the faces of people in the council area and the state at large.
The speaker said that the gesture was borne out of his desire to care and cater for the needs of widows in the local government area.
“I am proud to say that my long years of investment in the lives of the less privileged was part of what inspired me to set up Oleyelogun International Foundation (OIF).
“Long before I set it up, the objectives of the foundation are to build the family and the nation,’’ he said.
Oleyelogun appealed to well-meaning members of the society to rally support toward putting smiles on the faces of widows whose pains daily limit their attainment of wholesome joy.
He also called for advocacy aimed at lightening the burden that widowhood imposes on women in the society.
“We must all stand up against any backward cultural practice that seeks to demonise and subjugate our beloved wives, sisters and mothers at a time when all that they need is succour and love to overcome great loss.
“Our civil society groups, human rights organisations, traditional rulers and the society at large have a role to play in enlightening our people against noxious practices against women folk and the less privileged,’’ he said.
Oleyelogun also listed some of his achievements in the local government to include payment of WASC registration fees of 49 selected students for 2017/2018 session.
Skills acquisition and vocational training for 100 participants and supply of laboratory/scientific equipment, computer and generating sets to Apostolic High school, Ilara-Mokin.
Others were sustainable support for charity homes across the state, promotion and support of Primary Healthcare programme in Ifedore council area and renovation of Bolorunduro Basic Health Centre.
The Olowa of Igbara Oke, Oba Adefarakanmi Agbede, who spoke on behalf of traditional rulers in the council area, described Oleyelogun as a transparent, reliable and selfless representative.
Agbede lauded Akeredolu for the good work he was doing in the local government, promising to continue to support him for more developmental projects in the area.