By Adekola Afolabi
Two hundred widows yesterday benefited from the 2018 widows relief programme sponsored by the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, the Oleyelogun International Foundation (OIF).
The programme held at the Ifedore Local Government Secretariat, had in attendance, the Governor of the state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, represented by his deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, Hon. Olusegun Ajimotokin, Hon. Kuti Towase, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Omowumi Olatunji Ohwovoriole, APC leaders, traditional rulers across the local government, among others.
Flagging off the presentation of palliatives/relief items to the widows, Governor Akeredolu, lauded the Speaker for the good gesture, which he said would improve the lives of the beneficiaries. He commended Oleyelogun for representing his constituents well.
He equally used the occasion to advise the beneficiaries and other eligible voters in the council area who have not registered or collected their permanent voter’s card to do so immediately to enable them participate in the forthcoming elections, saying that their votes is their right to elect the leaders of their choice.
The governor explained that the present administration in the state is doing everything to empower women, noting that many women-oriented programmes including micro-credit facilities, empowerment and skills acquisition programmes are being put in place to better position women and give them their rightful place in the scheme of things.
Akeredolu disclosed that all the ongoing projects in various communities in Ifedore will cut across all wards in the local government, adding that the government will continue to do its best to put smiles on the faces of the people of the state.
Items presented to the beneficiaries include cash, foodstuffs such as rice, poundo yam, semovita, spaghetti, bathing and washing soaps, toiletries, among others.
Speaking at the event, Rt. Hon. Oleyelogun, who is the lawmaker representing Ifedore State Constituency in the State House of Assembly explained that the gesture was borne out of his desire to care and cater for the needs of widows in the local government area.
Oleyelogun appealed to all well-meaning members of the society to rally support towards putting smiles on the faces of widows whose pains daily limit their attainment of wholesome joy, just as he 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 obnoxious practices against the womenfolk and the less privileged”, he added.
He also listed some of his achievements in the local government to include payment of WASC registration fee of 49 selected students for 2017/2018 session, skills acquisition programme and vocational training for 100 participants, supply of laboratory/scientific equipment, computer and generating sets to Apostolic High School, Ilara-Mokin, empowerment programme for 100 participants, sustainable support for charity homes across the state, promotion and support of Primary HealthCare programme in Ifedore council area, renovation of Bolorunduro Basic Health Centre, among others.
In their separate remarks, some traditional rulers including Adapogun of Ipogun, Oba Ojo Raphael; Asarun of Isarun, Oba Joseph Adebobola Awolehin III, among others said all the traditional rulers in the local government are solidly behind the Speaker, saying that they have also endorsed him for another term in the Assembly for more development in the constituency.
The traditional rulers, who described Oleyelogun as a transparent, reliable and selfless representative, also appreciated Governor Akeredolu for the good work he is doing in the local government, promising to continue to support him.
Some of the beneficiaries include a physically-challenged woman, Mrs Bosede Abiodun; Mrs Adewole Janet, Mrs. Simisola Omoseebi, Rachel Ogunleye and Moradeke Ogundare, specially appreciated Oleyelogun for alleviating the sufferings of widows in the council area, describing him as a selfless leader who is passionate about improving the lives of his constituents.
They openly declared their support for the speaker, saying he has justified the confidence reposed in him.
Also, the Coordinator, Ifedore Physically Challenged persons and Zonal Chairman, Idanre/ Ifedore Physically Challenged Persons, Bamisile Adetomiwa Mutiu, equally lauded the Speaker for always supporting the physically challenged in the local government.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of Award of Excellence to the Speaker by the Federation of Ifedore Indigenes in the civil and public services, for his meritorious service in Ifedore local government. The Chairman of the federation, Pastor Solomon Ariyeloye and other members also endorsed Oleyelogun for another term in the Assembly.