NAN – Hundreds of widows from the South-East on Saturday prayed for peace in the country and for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
The women, who gathered at the South-East Widows Empowerment Programme in Awka, also prayed for unity and peace in the country, especially as intense politicking had begun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was organised by “2015 For Jonathan (4J)’’, founded by a businessman, Chief Arthur Eze, in collaboration with Women for Change and Children Development.
Speaking at the occasion, the wife of the president, Dame Patience Jonathan, stressed the need for women to love one another, cater for persons in need among them, and pray for peace in Nigeria.
“Let us do well. Let people see that you are a true Christian through your attitudes.
“Women should come together to appreciate themselves. They should be protected and loved by men,” she said.
She commended the president for giving women 35 per cent affirmative action in the country.
The first lady also commended the people in the region for supporting her husband during the 2011 presidential election.
She said that the president was determined to rehabilitate roads and provide more infrastructural facilities in the zone.
Jonathan urged the widows who received various items of empowerment at the occasion to make judicious use of them and improve on their living conditions.
Items distributed to beneficiaries, who were no fewer than 500, included sewing machines, grinding machines, hair dressing equipment, rice, soap, wrappers and cash.
In his remarks, Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, said that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) would give the president 100 per cent support during the 2015 presidential election.
He, however, announced that the party would contest other positions in the general elections.
Obiano said that the first lady’s empowerment programme was in consonance with the programmes of his administration, which had already generated 15,000 jobs and attracted 800 million dollars investment.
Also speaking, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, commended Jonathan for associating with the widows.
Ihedioha, who spoke on behalf of other National Assembly members at the occasion, recalled that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the National Assembly and National Executive Council had endorsed Jonathan for 2015.
“The initiative of ‘4J’ has strengthened our resolve to support Jonathan for re-election.
“We are convinced that if and when he decides to run for re-election, he will continue to transform the country,” he said.
Earlier, founder of 4J, Eze, said that the organisation had empowered more than 90, 000 widows and 35 orphanages in the region
According to him, the organisation has also built homes for the homeless as well as cared for numerous aged in the society.
“The aim of 4J is to provide and care for widows. It was inspired by the love the wife of Jonathan has for widows,” Eze explained.
In their separate speeches, the wives of the governors of Abia, Delta, Enugu, Eboyi and Anambra commended Mrs Jonathan and Eze for caring for the widows.
They said that Jonathan was God’s agenda for Nigeria, adding that nobody could stop him in the 2015 re-election bid.