Monday, June 3, 2013

Nigeria: Well it has taken 5 years.

The Nigerian Tribune reports

Akwa Ibom outlaws maltreatment of widows

                                                     Oge Okoye Nollywood Actress ( I think )

THE custom of seizing properties belonging to deceased married men  and subjecting their widows to several practices, such as shaving of the head and making them drink the water used to clean the deceased husbands, among others, has now become illegal and an offence against the state in Akwa Ibom State.

Wouldn't it just make a lot more sense to have joint matrimonial property ? That said this is a good start. I am struggling to believe the shaving of widows heads, and drinking of the water used to clean the deceased, the less said the better. 

The state government, in a bill passed by the House of Assembly and signed by the governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, outlawed the customs which maltreat widows after the deaths of their husbands, declaring it as unlawful and inhuman.

Hmm. Let's hope this is a Road to Damascus experience rather than a stunt.  

In his Democracy Day speech, the governor declared that it had become unlawful for widows to be maltreated in Akwa Ibom State, saying defaulters of the new law would risk a penalty ranging from fines to three years imprisonment.

Three years maximum for human rights abuse and theft of an estate one might be a little skeptical of Governor Godswill.
While reacting on the new law, the First Lady of the state, Chief (Mrs) Unoma Ekaette Akpabio commended the House of Assembly and the governor for the pro-women law, describing the passage of the new law as a breakthrough for womenfolk in the state.

According to her, “I  appreciate the state House of Assembly and the state governor for standing with the womenfolk through this law. Akwa Ibom State has, in the last five years, shown itself as pro-masses and pro-women government.”

Well 5 years seems just a little tardy to me. Is there an election scheduled ?

Hat Tip:  Amwaltzinmatilda 

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