My attention has been drawn to a video making the rounds that only 10 food items were distributed to widows in Idanre, while over 500 others were returned to Akure. This is preposterous and a poorly fabricated tall tale. We are aware that this is a political season and the political rogues will do all they can to distract good governance. On the normalcy, the ill-represented video being promoted by prevaricators would have been ignored, but for the sake of the truth seekers who wish to know the real situation of things, I have decided to put the fact straight as someone who coordinated the process and have a first-hand information on the widows palliative distribution in Idanre Local Government.

First off, it will be irrational to think that food items meant for widows residing in Idanre were brought to the local government, offloaded from the vehicle into the hall where distribution was to be made and then packed back into the vehicle only to be taken back to Akure. What was the point of offloading if we were going to deliberately pack it back; it just doesn’t make any sense. All the food items brought are for widows who registered and have submitted their details for inclusion in the Ondo Widows database. This administration will not play politics with the welfare of the people of Ondo State, widows especially.

We must continue to carry out our activities in an organized and transparent manner. For over one month, there was a massive advertisement on all media platforms (traditional and new), informing widows to register either at the local government secretariat or on the Ondo widows’ website. This was done to ensure that every widow, whether close to the Government or not, has an equal chance of getting support from both the Government and well-meaning individuals.

To be clear, the food items are meant for widows who registered and have their details captured in the database. It will be inappropriate and unjust for food items already earmarked for registered widows, who for a reason or the other could not make it to the venue, be given to people we are not sure are widows, who just showed up on the day the palliatives were being distributed. Some widows in Idanre who had initially registered were unable to make it to the venue the day the palliatives were distributed. Some of them had informed us that they are currently not in Idanre and we have assured them that another day will be selected for our revisit to Idanre. One thing is sure, every widow who registered will receive their palliative except they decide not to come and claim theirs. We will not give to another person who did not follow due process what belongs to someone who followed due process. Besides, 153 widows residing in Idanre received the palliatives that were distributed.

Let us make it clear that no deceitful political tactics will make us bend the rule. If you cannot follow the transparent due process that has been put in place to capture your details as a widow, you will be depriving yourself of the opportunity to enjoy the support this administration and other concerned persons have in store for the widows.

Tope Daniyan
S.S.A to the Governor on Gender, Research and Documentation