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Akeredolu’s Widow, Betty Remarries Younger Brother In Line With Igbo Tradition

In line with the traditional Igbo culture and tradition, the family of Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, widow of the former Governor of Ondo State, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, has performed Mgbafu Mkpe on her, and she was repossessed by the younger brother of the former governor, Prof. Wole Akeredolu.

Mgbafu Mkpe is a traditional Igbo ceremony performed shortly after the demise and burial of a woman’s husband in Igbo land. The family of the woman’s husband would indicate interest in still having the widow live with them or not. Upon saying yes, the in-laws would hand over the widow back to the husband’s family after performing some rituals. Should the husband’s family say no, certain rituals are also conducted to free the woman from her husband’s family.

The repossession celebration was held on Sunday, March 31, 2024, at the Emeabiam Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, where the Anyanwu family decided to hand over their daughter to the younger brother of Aketi, Wole Akeredolu.

The handover back to the Akeredolus was the climax of the ceremony. This was after the Akeredolus had indicated an interest in still having Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the Ada Owere 1, in their family after the demise of her husband.

Before the handover, the Akeredolus had presented kola nuts, palm wine, and she-goat to the Umuegeolu kindred, including food to the Anyanwus as tradition demands.

Responding on behalf of the Akeredolus, Prof Wole Akeredolu expressed gratitude to the family, the Umuegeolu kindred, and the entire Emeabiam Community for their hospitality. He formally informed them of the demise of his elder brother and their in-law who had since been buried. He pledged to continue to cater and care for their wife, Betty.

He also thanked all those who were in Ibadan, Oyo State, to commiserate with the Akeredolu family and the ones who were in Owo to witness the interment of Gov Akeredolu’s remains on February 23, 2024.

The former first lady, who was clad in a black gown with a touch of white stripes and a dark sun shade, signalling that the mourning period was not yet over, did not respond after the ceremony. Present at the ceremony were Umuegeolu family members, Nde Mgboto Emeabiamn (Daughters of the soil), and Oha n’Ikoro Emeabiam (elders council).

Mrs. Akeredolu, however, posted photos of the ceremony on her Instagram handle, where the Umuegeolu kindred handed her over to her late husband’s immediate younger brother, signalling that she is still a part of Akeredolu’s family.

Recall that the late Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, fondly called Aketi, died in December 2023 after battling cancer. He was buried in February 2024. Weeks after his burial, his Owerri in-laws performed the traditional Mgbafu Mkpe ceremony for Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, his widow.

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