The dateline was December 3, 2023. Bose Dominic, 57, stepped out from the congregation and walked to the podium of the Holy Unity Church of Christ, Okoya, Ajegunle, Lagos State to thank Assistant Superintendent of Police Daniel Ayomike for gifting her and 15 other widows food items and cash.
But words failed her and tears filmed in her eyes as she struggled with overwhelming emotions.
Dominic sniffled: “Mr Daniel Ayomike, may Almighty God bless you for what you did for I and other widows. Right now, as I am speaking, there is no food in my house, nothing to eat! I didn’t know God would use somebody who doesn’t know me and who I have never met before to help me. I was surprised when I heard someone was going to assist widows in this church. I quickly ran down here. I am a member of the Redeemed Church of God, but it is not the church that one attends that matters, but a church that can touch lives and render assistance.”
Among the 16 beneficiaries of the food items and cash, Dominic is the most educated and her fluency in communication is stunning, yet she is the most haggard and tired-looking among the lot. She studied Business Administration and then went ahead to study Catering and Hotel Management. She used to make beads, which were shipped outside the shores of Nigeria, and was known for her continental dishes. But everything turned sour after mother fortune seemed to turn her back on her.
She said: “My husband married me traditionally and we also had a white wedding. However, he had a previous woman in his life. I thought everything was fine with every one of us. I didn’t know it was not so, not until he died. My husband’s children collected my car and kicked my only child and I out of the house. I didn’t know what to do, but I felt we could manage. My son got a job as a security guard and was supporting me with N30,000 and then suddenly he started having mental problems. He lost his job and to get help for him, I had to sell all my equipment for business.”
Dominic said that if she could get financial support from well-meaning Nigerians, she would return to her first business of cooking.
The celebrant said that he started taking care of widows after he had a dream, where a late widow, whom he used to live in her apartment as a tenant, and who nicknamed him: “Husband of the widows,” told him in a dream to continue to take care of widows. Ayomike said that in the course of his work as a policeman, he has served in different states and most states widows had been helpful and compassionate.
He said: “A widow once assisted me with a room apartment and refused to collect rent. This room was furnished and even had cooking gas. I heard that the tenant using the apartment relocated overseas and that the landlady also did not collect rent from him, only money for food. I started giving her money for feeding and then she started calling me husband of widows and this was in Owo, Ondo State. In 2014 I also met another widow at Itedo Lekki, Lagos State, whom I used to give rice and noodles.”
The woman would later die and then appear to Ayomike in a dream. In the dream, the woman was with other women and she instructed Ayomike to dip their hand into his pocket and give all the women something. The ASP said: “I did as she instructed and still in the dream, she asked me to kneel and all the women prayed for me. When I woke up, I decided to expand my assistance to widows.”
Ayomike explained that to achieve his mission and vision, he reached out to friends, including Olushola Olasele, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Top Ten Hotel, and a renowned Nigerian actress, who does not wish to be named. He also mentioned that his church leadership and members were part of the support system.
One of the widows, Beatrice Ukuli, in her 50s, while praying and asking God to continue to bless Ayomike, said her husband died two years ago, leaving her with five children. Ukuli recounted: “I used to be a businesswoman. I used to sell clothes, but not anymore. I lost my shop and everything crumbled after the land on which the land was situated was sold and since I had become redundant, doing nothing! This incident happened last year. Today, I do not have a shop and no money to eat rent one, but I have those clothes at home. I came to this church from Badagry and it is only God who has been helping me and my children.”
According to Ukuli, if someone can assist her with the sum of N200,000, she will return to her business of selling clothes. She added: “I appreciate Daniel Ayomike for how’s helping widows. He’s a rare breed. Some Nigerians have so much, but will not help anyone, let alone widows. God will continue to bless and reward him.”
Yemisi Okufolarin, who is in her 60s, said her husband died three years ago and since then she has become a cleaner to make ends meet. Before the demise of her late husband, who was a gardener, she had a shop where she sold provisions. Okufolarin, who said that her in-laws had not been assisting since the death of her husband, told the reporter that if she could get “N100,000, I will go into the selling food items in front of my house. “I have prayed to God, and I will continue praying that He should bless Daniel Ayomike. Ayomike had been saying that food items and money were small, that we should manage them, but these items will seriously help our families.”
Rashida Balogun, 60, a mother of one, whose husband died 17 years ago, recalled how she was chased away from her matrimonial home by her in-laws following the death of her husband. Asked why she was chased away, Balogun replied: “I have only one child and she’s a girl. Yes, there were property and they didn’t want to share. Today, I sell fruits and even as I speak right now, we’ve been given quit notice, which will expire by December. The accommodation is the most disturbing challenge for me right now. I desperately need money for accommodation and to start a small business. If I can get a sum of N200,000, I will rent a room and start a business. Already, I have saved N90,000.”
While pouring encomiums on Ayomike, Balogun said: “I appreciate what Daniel Ayomike is doing for us. He did the same thing last year and to be truthful, I was not expecting another succour from him this year. God will continue to bless him.”
Cecilia Ayoade, 62, said her husband died four years ago, leaving with four children. The woman, who sells bread to make a living, said her husband simply got up one day, coughed, slumped and died. Ayoade added: “Since his death, life has been hellish. Daniel Ayomike is part of the people in this church that has been assisting me. I have not received help from my in-laws. It is my family that used to assist us. If I have the sum of N100,000, will immediately start selling drinks at the front of my house.”
Primate Clement Adeoye Lajuwomi Orilanfindade of Holy Unity Church of Christ, said the church and its members were known for their humanitarian tendencies, adding that Ayomike has simply expanded the scope. Dr. Orilafindade added: “God gave Daniel the vision and grace to start to introduce this last year and it was successful and the church was much appreciative.
“When he came this year with the plan to repeat the event, we all supported him in prayers and kindness. God will continue to help him to do more. My advice to churches all over the world is to emulate good things. Nigerians should at what a single man like Daniel Ayomike is doing for widows and try to cultivate the habit of helping the needy.”