The custom allowing the seizure of deceased husbands properties and subjecting their widows to inhuman practices such as shaving of the head and making them drink the water used to bath their husbands, among others, have now become illegal in Akwa Ibom State.
The state government, in a bill passed by the House of Assembly and signed by the governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, outlawed the custom which maltreat widows after the deaths of their husbands, declaring it as unlawful and inhuman.
In his Democracy Day speech, the governor declared that it had become unlawful for widows to be maltreated in Akwa Ibom, saying defaulters of the law risk fines and three years imprisonment.
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 law as a breakthrough for the 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.”