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Late Akeredolu’s Widow, Betty, Officially Repossessed by the Ex-Governor’s Younger Brother

Late Akeredolu's Widow Betty Officially Repossessed by the Ex-Governor's Younger Brother

Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the widow of the late former governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has been reintegrated into the Akeredolu family. This decision was made by the Emeabiam Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, who handed her over to her late husband’s younger brother, Professor Wole Akeredolu.

Rotimi Akeredolu, who passed away in December 2023 after a battle with cancer, was succeeded by his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa, and was laid to rest in February 2024. Shortly after his burial, the traditional Mgbafu Mkpe ceremony for Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the late governor’s widow, took place on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Owerri West Local Government Area.

The ceremony reached its climax when the Umuegeolu kindred formally handed Betty over to Professor Wole Akeredolu, indicating the family’s desire to continue having her within their fold after her husband’s demise. Prior to this symbolic gesture, customary offerings of kolanuts, palm wine, and a she-goat were presented to the Umuegeolu kindred by the Akeredolus, adhering to tradition.

In response, Professor Wole Akeredolu expressed gratitude to the Umuegeolu kindred and the entire Emeabiam Community for their hospitality. He affirmed the Akeredolu family’s commitment to continue caring for Betty, acknowledging the support received during the mourning period and the interment ceremony held in Owo.

The former first lady, attired in a black gown with white stripes and dark sunglasses, symbolizing the ongoing mourning period, remained silent throughout the ceremony. Attendees included members of the Umuegeolu family, Nde Mgboto Emeabiam (Daughters of the soil), and Oha n’Ikoro Emeabiam (Elders Council).

The Mgbafu Mkpe ceremony, a traditional Igbo practice, signifies the transition of a widow back to her husband’s family following his passing. It involves the mutual agreement between both families, with rituals performed accordingly.