The tradition of seizing the 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, have now become illegal and an offence against the state in Akwa Ibom State.
The state government, in a bill passed by the House of Assembly and signed by the governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday, 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 State, saying defaulters of the new law would risk a penalty ranging from fines to 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 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."