Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers has urged the state government to focus attention on the poorest of the poor widows in the state during the implementation of its social investment programmes.
The monarchs gave the charge when the state coordinator of the Widow’s Welfare Scheme, Dr. Isioma Okonta and his team addressed the kings, during a routine sensitization and enlightenment exercise in Owa–Oyibu, Ika North East local government area of the state.
The monarchs who converged at the palace of the Obi of Owa, His Royal Majesty, Obi Dr E O Efeizomor II, drew the attention of the government to the categories of widows to include those who can look after and provide for themselves, without any help from others after the death of their spouse, and those widows who have no mean of livelihoods when their husbands dies.
The state social welfare scheme, according to the kings should focus more on widows who cannot fend for themselves and are within the category of the poorest of the poor in the society, if the programme is to have the desired impart.
Owa monarch, HRM Obi Dr. Efeizomor 11, who chaired the conversation expressed warm approval and admiration for the scheme, pointing out that some of the traditional rulers had in time past, embarked on some palliative measures to assist widows, the less privileged and physically challenged person in their community, to compliment the efforts of the government.
The kings also advised the coordinators to be wary of self acclaimed traditional rulers in some villages posing as monarchs, adding that such impostors are not recognized by the authorities and they are agents of destabilization, that they should distance themselves from elements during their sensitization exercise in the communities.
In his comments, the State Widows Welfare Scheme coordinator Dr. Okonta said the widows have been benefiting from the scheme since 2018, adding that the widows enrolled are predominantly aged, illiterate and those who have difficities at financial independence .
According to Okonta , these widows are drawn from the 25 LGA and the 270 wards across the communities as they receive N5000 as monthly stipends and free health care service from the state government, adding that the drivers of the scheme have decided to carry out the enlightenment campaign to deepen the progremme by way of getting the traditional rulers involved .
He said the selection of the second and third batches of beneficiaries will be done with strict supervision of the kings in their communities.
The Royal Fathers in attendance were; HRM S.P Luke Kalanama VIII, Pere of Akubene Mien and 2nd Vice Chairman, Delta state Council of Traditional Rulers, the Obi of Umunede, the Pere of Kabowei, Ebenanaoei of Idunini, the Ogene of Ibedeni and the Okobaro of Jeremi.
Also in attendance were the Obi of Atuma, Ovie of Mosogar, Odio –Ologbo of Oleh, Obi of Ubulu- Unor, the Ovie of Ellu and Ovie of Orua-Rivie- Abraka.
Reported by Kenneth Oruse