By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Many widows had cause to smile, weekend, when the Shamies Unusual Heart Foundation celebrated them to mark Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
Amid inspiring speeches, the Foundation gave 200 widows from different parts of the nation’s capital, food items and cash gifts to cushion the effects of what it called “hardship in the land.”
The Executive Director of the foundation, Ms. Saratu Abdul, who said the beneficiaries were selected without recourse to their ethnic or religious affiliations, urged them to stand out and speak up when issues bothering them were being discussed in a public forum as a way of deepening their participation in Nigeria’s democracy.
She said, “Growing up among people that had nothing was very difficult. So, I know exactly how it feels to have nothing. Now that I think God has blessed me, I always try to reach out to other people who are in need.
“Nigeria is hard; people are really suffering. So, as a nation, for us to be celebrating Democracy Day, it’s right that we reach out to those who are suffering the hardship in the land, especially the widows around us.”
Ms. Abdul also pointed out that in Nigeria today women, especially widows, were subjected to all manner of maltreatment under the various guises.
So, she called for the eradication of such discriminatory practices and stressed that the foundation was set up to help the widows to stand up for their rights.
“We always want women to be able to stand out and stand up for themselves in our society; to be able speak out when there are issues bothering them and not wait for me to take always decisions for them as we move to deepen Nigeria’s democratic values,” she added.