The First Lady of Edo State, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki has concluded plans to empower 500 widows during the International Women’s Day celebration later this week.
Mrs. Obaseki, who dropped this hint during a thanksgiving service by the State Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Aisosa Amadasun at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Sunday, said the empowerment initiative was part of her husband’s campaign promises during electioneering.
“I am not surprised my husband is seeking to collaborate with the church because when we were campaigning, my husband promised to select 100 widows for the next four years, and give them monthly stipend.
“But I think it is better to empower the widows than to give them money. Therefore, we have developed an empowerment project for the widows by collaborating with Bank of Industry and Edo state will be lucky to be the pilot scheme” she said.
Explaining further, she revealed that 40 chickens – 20 layers and 20 broilers – would be given to each widow with the required feed for three months, adding that they would be of a special breed while also assuring them of a ready market for the products.
For his part, Governor Godwin Obaseki who was present at the thanksgiving service with his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu commended the church for the service saying, “Whenever I come to this church and hear you preach, I am overwhelmed just as your message is inspiring and leaves me with food for thought and a lot to reflect on”.
Governor Obaseki however further buttressed on the empowerment for widows.
He said, “Widows form a segment of most vulnerable persons in the society, but my wife has developed an empowerment program for them, which we will launch this Wednesday.
“If there are persons who abandoned their poultry because of the cost of feeds, we are set to support you with free chicks, feeds and vaccines and by the time they are matured for sale, our buyers will be available to purchase everything. These and more, are our plans to make poverty history in our state.
“We are committed to doing everything within our power to empower our people. This week, we will be rolling out our job initiative and other programs such as agriculture among others. Please, encourage your people to register”, he added.