By JAMES EZEMA
With over 68% of families in Imo State, directly or indirectly, having at least one person living in the Diaspora, it is not surprising that the wellbeing of Imolites in Diaspora would be of great to the people in the state.
That explains the connection between Imo Widows and Imo Diasporans as they raised their voice to pray for Imo State Indigenes abroad.
The widows who thanked the state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma for creating the state Diaspora Affairs Office, also gave Biblical explanation for the their prayers, saying that in PSALM 146:9, God speaks about Widows and Sojourners, referring to the Diasporans.
Although this isn’t the reason which triggered the ‘August Visit’ by the widows to Diaspora Office as the Widows had little or nothing to do with the Diaspora Office until the 7th of December 2020.
On that day, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill being sponsored by Hon. Uju Onwudiwe member representing Njaba State Constituency was heard in the Imo House of Assembly.
Various pro-women rights groups and associations attended, including the Peculiar Women Widows.
The Special Adviser to Imo State Governor on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Cllr. Celia Osakwe-Hibbert, on that day made a passionate plea on the need for the VAPP Bill to be domesticated in the state, citing young girls, widows, and mothers as those who will benefit from the Bill.
Hon. Osakwe-Hibbert, by her plea, caught the hearts of many on that day including the Widows.
On Tuesday, December 16, 2020, a handful of the widows paid a working visit to the Imo State Diaspora Office.
The lead person of the widows delegation, Pastor Gloria Tochi Emerou, explained that “we are here to identify with you, after listening to you speak in support of the VAPP Bill.
“We are also here to pray for your office and for all of our Children in ‘Obodo Oyibo’ that you look after.
“We pray for health for them and their children, we pray for their works and businesses, we pray for their safe journey as they come and go”, the Peculiar Women Widows coordinator said.
She added, “We also pray for Governor Hope Uzodimma and his family. We thank God for giving him wisdom to create this Diaspora Office.
“From all we have heard and seen, this office will bring those good practices from ‘Obodo Oyibo’ (Diaspora) and Imo State will be full of good practices”, she said.
The Widows then raised the roof with songs and prayers, in what our correspondent described as chillingly divine!
‘Widow’s mite’ of chicken, water and bunch of bananas were all received by the SA Diaspora on behalf of her office with utmost gratitude to the widows.
The items were in turn donated by the Diaspora Office to to charity.