President–General of the Battle Axe Women International, Dr. Linda Oge Okoye, has called on the African Union to make it mandatory for all member countries to pay monthly stipends to widows in their countries.
Dr. Oge, a former dean of the faculty of Dentistry in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said that her call had become necessary in view of the agony and severe hardship faced by widows in Nigeria and African countries, adding that a monthly allowance for them by the ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, would go a long way to alleviating their problem and restore their hope of survival.
Addressing over 90 widows in Enugu yesterday to mark the 2019 celebration of motherhood, the Battle Axe boss, wept openly that over 30 million widows wallow in abject poverty in the country and made a passionate appeal to both government, corporate bodies and society to come to their rescue as part of their social responsibility.
According to her ‘‘no matter how wealthy you are, and you are surrounded by the poor, you can hardly find Joy, joy can only come when you help the needy around you’’.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘‘God make me an intercessor’’, and it is observed in June every year throughout the world to not only draw global attention to the plight of widows but also to plead for the mercy of God.
Dr. Oge Okoye, told the widows to believe in the efficacy of prayers, stressing that constant prayers would help draw the Holy Spirit closer to them.
She said that anyone who is touched by the plight of widows, whom she described as ‘Jesus wives’, should channel their support to the Battle Axe Woman International with branches in different parts of the country, adding that arrangements had been concluded to launch their Abakiliki branch.