International widows’ Day 2021; Kogi widows Demand inclusion in Governance.

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* Pray for Gov. Bello, Onoja.

Omakoji Israel.

As part of the activities marking, year 2021 International widows Day, the Kogi state widows have called on Governments at all levels to as a matter of policy include sizeable number of widows in the highest decision making organs of government.

This is just as to address equity and rights of destitute widows that requires range of programmes and policies to ending violence against them and their children, poverty alleviation , education and other support to widows of all ages.

The widows made the appeal on Wednesday in Lokoja, at an inter-religious prayer session for Gov. Bello and his Deputy Edward Onoja for maintaining peace across the state , on the occasion of International Widows Day 2021 with the theme: Invisible women facing Invisible problems.

According to the Convener of the programme, Ojone Ojatah, pointed out that the theme of this year’s celebration , Invisible women, invisible problems was carefully chosen to reflect the trauma widows encounter as a result of the loss of their partners.

Ojatah lamented that Kogi state has an estimated 89,000 registered widows as at 2018 which is expected to be more by this year , stressing that although widows across the world suffered similar challenges, the situation is devastating in the developing economies.

She noted that the loss of their husbands is magnified by a long time struggle for meeting basic needs of lives, human rights abuses and how to ensure their dignity is respected by the society.

” As women we have specific needs , however our voices are often absent from policy that impact on our survival. We are most vulnerable to rape due to insufficient shelter and vulnerability to violence. We are particularly vulnerable in the context of HIV and Aids.

” According to the World Bank reports, noted that widows are often victims of violence from In-laws and humiliating rights abuses, dress code and isolation as part of the mourning rites to demonstrate grief and loyalty to their husbands even after death.

” Widows often experience hidden human rights violations, particularly child widows, these violations are embedded in social, political, economic, religious, cultural and traditional beliefs and practices. As as results of these child widows are rendered invisible and subjected to violence, extreme poverty , marginalisation , oppression and neglect.” She informed.

While commending Governor Yahaya Bello and his Edward Onoja for their proactiveness in stemming the  insecurity and ensured peace and tranquility across the state, said , the peace enjoyed has helped to reduce mortality of men in the state.

Ojatah noted that in the light of their contribution to the longevity of lives of husbands, her association ” Widows and Orphans Care Foundation” , decided to package inter religious prayer session for God to protect them from all machinations of the devil as they continue with provision of purposeful leadership for the state.

The prayer session have widows drawn from the 21 local Government Council of the state, with Traditional Rulers, Religious leaders who prayer fervently for Gov. Bello and his Deputy Edward Onoja and for the state .

The royal father of the occasion AjofeJohn Egwemi, the paramount ruler of Ibaji local Government traditional council, commended the convener, for bringing together widows across the state to pray for the people and government of the state.

The monarch urge her to continue with her good work and should not give up due to some challenges, praying that God that has been seeing her through since over two decades will continue to sustain her.

He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for his determination and commitment of his administration to make Kogi the most safest state in the country , which, has invariably increase the life expectancy of men that has decreased number of widows in the state.

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