The Enugu women on Monday held a special thanksgiving service in celebration of Gov. Peter Mbah’s tribunal victory as Enugu State Governor.
It was reported that the Enugu Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, on Sept. 21, upheld Mbah’s victory as the duly elected governor of Enugu State in the March 18 governorship election in the state.
The thanksgiving service which began with the Holy Mass by Rev. Fr. Anthony Udeh, the Government House Chaplain, had women from the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state and women support groups in attendance.
Speaking at the event, the State Coordinator, Enugu State Prayer Network, Evangelist Favour Ugwuanyi, said Enugu women gathered at Okpara Square where they held their monthly prayer to thank God for the victory he gave to Mbah.
According to her, women in Enugu meet at venue every 9th of every month to pray for Enugu State Government, land of Enugu, families and Nigeria at large.
“Women from all the offices, parastatals, 17 LGAs, political parties and 11 ministers of God, women support groups gathered here to celebrate what God did for Mbah and Enugu State at the tribunal,” she said.
Ugwuanyi also called on those in opposition to support Mbah, stressing that, “Enugu State belongs to all of us and they should join hands together with the present government to make Enugu great.
“People who say Mbah is not doing any project should have patience with him because, it is too early to judge, adding that six months is not enough to lay foundations.
“They are in a hurry and Mbah is going to make it, he has to set machineries on ground, study the environment, problems and challenges, harvest decisions of people with his own to come up with solutions,” Ugwuanyi appealed.
The Enugu State Commissioner for Children and Gender Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Ngozi Enih, lauded the women for attending the thanksgiving as “we are their zeal in holding monthly prayers for the state.”
While urging women to continue with their prayers for Enugu State, Enih said their prayers would enable Mbah achieve his plan for Enugu people.
She also lauded Mbah for paying N450 million counterpart fund to the World Bank for women in the state which she said would not be a loan but a grant to them.
According to her, the gesture is in line with Mbah’s promise to end poverty in Enugu during his tenure in office.
Enih said, “Among all the 36 states in Nigeria, Enugu State was the first state that paid N450 million counterpart fund for women and so far only Enugu and Ondo states have paid the money.
“To access the money all you need to do is to register yourselves at Poverty Eradication and Human Development and then, collect your certificate at our ministry and open an account.
“The money is not meant for you to go home and spend it, we will be checking and monitoring you to see that the money is judiciously used for the purpose it was meant for,” he advised.
The Commissioner further urged women to report any domestic violence against them to the ministry, stressing that they would treat their matter confidentially.
Explaining further the N450 million counterpart fund, the Enugu State Project Coordinator of Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP), Mrs Blessing Ogbonna, said NFWP is a World Bank-assisted programme and an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
She said the ministry believed that women’s empowerment was essential to their ability to ensure women economic empowerment and, by extension, the resilience of their households and communities.
“One of the objectives of the programme is to provide an investment that will improve the livelihoods of women in Nigeria to boost inclusive growth by ensuring economic opportunities for women in addressing gender inequality,” she added.
She explained that women were expected to form cooperative societies of 10 persons and above each to access the money.
Earlier, Ude in his homily, emphasised the need for Christians to love God and one another.
“Your neighbour is everyone around you and we should love our neighbour which is a call to a discipleship and challenge of being a Christian.
“If you love Christ but do not love your neighbour, even your enemies. there is a problem and it will be very difficult for you to make heaven,” he admonished them.
The highlights of the programme include local government by local government, women support groups thanksgiving and teachings on domestic violence and infant and maternity mortality.