About 12,000 last Saturday went home with joy as they danced their way out of the premises of Kings University, Ode- Omu, Osun State. The women could not hide their joy as they displayed and held tightly to money and other items given to them by Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo of Kingsway International Christian Church (KICC), and his wife, Pastor Yemisi.
At the empowerment programme for the widows, the beneficiaries made up of 4,000 from Ode- Omu and its environs and about 8,000 from Modakeke got to the venue as early as 6.am. He explained why Modakeke got 8,000beneficiaries:
“You need to understand that two, or three things happened in Modakeke. There was an Ife-Modakeke war, which recorded a large number of casualties leading to an upsurge in widows’ population in Modakeke. Secondly, a lot of young people there are into Okada business. Imagine a young okada rider who is married to three wives, you know how these guys ride. He hits his head on the ground, died and leaves three women young widows.”
He added that they catered for 18,000 widows last year but deliberately pegged the number to 12,000, by asking some people not to attend: “It is quite a challenge managing 18,000 women, it may cause a stampede. However, it is such a great honour to serve these women.”
Some of the beneficiaries showered encomiums on Asimolowo with one of them saying: “Now I have more than 13 clothes anytime I want to go out. You have given me something to look up to. You have given me something to look forward to. You have added to my joy.”
Oba Adebayo Adewole of Ijero, Ekiti State thanked God for Ashimolowo’s life: “He started this programme on a low scale but it has became more elaborate and very big, I pray God will continue to prosper, bless and provide for him. The way more women are trooping in just to receive money and food shows there is poverty in our land, people need help. Asimolowo is not the richest person in Nigeria. I urge other well to do Nigerians to emulate him.”
Asimolowo thanked his friends who lent him a hand of support: “Seven cows were slaughtered. But I must acknowledge the support of some Nigerians. Bishop Adejumo from Akure sent one, my son, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo couldn’t come but he sent some money.
“Some friends also supported me. Alhaji Ibrahim, a golfer like me supported with a thousand out of these 12,000 clothes. He was touched, 65-70 percent of the women we are giving these gift items are Muslims. That is to show Nigerians that we see ourselves as one.
“While we run the programme as a Christian event, you can see from their dressing that 70 percent of these women that turned up are Muslims. We don’t bring religion into it. We see ourselves as one united Nigerians.”
Bishop Atioloye said the event is unique and gives hope to widows who feel neglected and forgotten: “That is why the event is unique. If everyone that God has blessed will do this in Nigeria, the poor and the needy would have got support.”