By Abuchi Onwumelu
The member representing Nnewi North State Constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Nonso Smart Okafor, recently built a 3-bedroom bungalow which he furnished and handed over the keys to three childless and aging widows – Mrs Gladys Obibulu, Anthonia Obibulu and Bridget Obibulu, married to one husband in his constituency, Okpuno Nnewichi, Nnewi.
The three bedroom bungalow has a sitting room with new sets of cushion chairs, side stools, centre table, a flat-screen LED Television, GOtv with one-year full subscription and also well decorated curtains.
Each of the three bedrooms was furnished with a wardrobe, mattress, bedding, curtains, alongside a modern kitchen, toilet and bathroom.
Praying with the kolanut, Igwe Kenneth Orizu 111, the traditional ruler of Nnewi Town, commended Hon Okafor for his humanitarian services.
In his remarks, Rt Hon Uche Okafor, Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly, said it was the prayers of the constituents that had helped the lawmaker to start and complete the project in two months.
The Speaker commended Hon Okafor and said that he was the first House member to embark on a project like that and completed it this year, adding that his efforts were duly noted.
In his words, ‘It is not about us but our neighbour and environment. Smart has seen that for him to survive is neighborhood. To make sure that the three widows have a roof over their head.
‘I thought he got the inspiration by following the wife of the governor, Dr Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano through her CAFE activities, especially building houses for widows in different communities in the state,’ Okafor observed.
He also thanked Gov Obiano for making the resources available to Hon Smart to embark on the project.
During the unveiling of the house, Hon Okafor said that the childless widows were living in a dilapidated mud house, with the major parts of the zinc covering the thatched house leaking and falling for about 40 years, according to the eldest wife, Madam Gladys.
He explained that he started building the project in the month of March, 22, 2020 and handed over the keys to them on May 22, 2020.
According to him, ‘Earlier this year, I was told the heart-melting story of three childless aging widows who were living in terrible conditions in a dilapidated mud house in Okpuno, Nnewichi, Nnewi.
hese women who are married to the same husband who is now late, had no children.
‘Each time it rained, they suffered severe cold as major parts of the zinc covering the thatched house were leaking, coupled with the fact that some parts of the mud house were already falling, posing a death trap to them as it could collapse at any time.
‘Disturbed by their plight, I visited these women and was moved to pity when I noticed that the oldest who was in her seventies or eighties was blind and sick. Their dilapidated mud house was not so different from living outside as it was riddled with gaping holes which could not prevent cold, mosquitoes, or in the worst-case scenario, snake attacks.
‘It was heartbreaking that these women in their age who deserve to be tended like babies lived in penury in a house that cannot guarantee good sleep.
‘In furtherance to my vow to better the welfare of my constituents, I decided to build a modern house for the three widows, a house that would not only give them basic shelter but also a sense of belonging.
‘Women of their age live in houses built by their children but since they were unfortunate not to have any, I decided to be a son to them. And what sons do for their mother, I promised to do for them.
‘This house may not be all these women require in their life, but I believe this house will not only put smiles on their faces but will also strengthen their life and increase their life span,’ he concluded.
Hon Okafor expressed appreciation to the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor, who made out time to commission the project alongside the Igwe Nnewi. He also thanked his colleagues, Hon. Barr. Uzoma Eli (Onitsha South 1) and Hon. Akaegbobi Johnbosco (Nnewi South 2) for their presence.
He was grateful to the Royal Fathers, Obi Uruagu Nnewi, Obi Afam Charles Obi (Ogidi IV) and Obi Nnewichi, Obi George A. Onyekaba (Obidiugwu) for their presence.
He also thanked Rt. Hon. Chukwudi Orizu, Hon. Amala Anazodo, Ogbuefi Melie Onyejepu, Sir. Ugochukwu Udemezue, Arc. Paul Ileka, Hon. Chike Agwuncha, Ven. Ekene Iroanusi, among other dignitaries, whose presence joined to put smiles on the faces of the widows.
The widows shed tears of joy as they prayed for Hon Smart Okafor to continue the good works, adding that God would continue to bless him with more wisdom.