The re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan received a boost Wednesday, as Women in Clergy, a group comprising female pastors and other Christian women, threw their weight behind his aspiration by endorsing him for a second term.
The decision of the group was disclosed by its President, Prophetess Nonie Roberson, in a statement issued in Abuja.
According to her, the women decided to endorse the president because after seeking the face of God, “we heard Him tell us that President Jonathan is the man for the season,” and added that God has not removed the mandate from the president.
Nigerian Women in Clergy is a faith-based women's organization that comprises female pastors, reverend sisters, and others who believe that the nation can only move forward through the prayers of Nigerian women.
It will be recalled that the clergywomen have remained very critical of happenings in the country since the group’s inception. They had been at the forefront of the campaign against incessant bombing of soft targets by the Boko Haram insurgents, and have at different points picked up the sponsorship of victims of bomb blasts.
Speaking on their resolution to endorse President Jonathan, the group said, “We have the mandate of God because we are like watchmen; we have sought the face of God, we have prayed and we are not ashamed to say that the scepter is still in the hands of Jonathan. Though the battle will be fierce, we are not moved by sight or what we see; we are moved by divine direction. Jonathan will come back.
“Women in Clergy is 100 percent for Jonathan,” Roberson furthered, saying that the principal reason for the decision is the fact that God instructed them to do so.
“The most important reason is the fact that God said so. Aside from that, if we are to take off our spiritual cap and put on that of intellect, he is still the best man for the job.
“Forget about the propaganda that is going on; there is no leader in this country that has affected and pushed the cause of womanhood as President Jonathan has done.
“As women, we have been able to move away from the noise about change or transformation and researched into things President Jonathan has accomplished in office and discovered that he has outperformed all those that came before him,” Robertson said.
According to the group, taking a look at where the country was when the president took over shows that the nation has made tremendous progress in the right direction.
“The nation has moved forward in a steady manner, which is better than having a Buhari who will come in and move us rapidly backward. As women, who God has set as watchmen over this nation, we will not allow that to happen. How do we support a man who wanted the office of the First Lady scrapped? We are not sure what other obnoxious laws would be made to enslave us in future. We still want to enjoy the current religious freedom we enjoy, and nobody is going to change the positive direction we have being moving [in],” she said.
On the strategy to be employed by the group in rallying support for the president, Roberson said the group has been praying, fasting, and holding night vigils for the reelection of the president.
She however added that they are not ignorant of the fact that faith without work is dead, and for that, they have decided to take the campaign to the people on the street and in the villages.
“We are embarking on a sensitization programme for women and youths, by showcasing what the president has done in the last four years. Our tentacles goes right down to the grassroots; just yesterday, we had women from all over the states, including Borno, here in Abuja for a strategy meeting, and by next week, we shall start visiting and giving them tools in different languages. We cannot afford to go backwards because of change,” she said.
The statement reads further: “As women, who God has positioned both in the home and the church of God, we stand solidly behind the candidacy of President Jonathan, as the scepter has not departed from him; we stand in the gap interceding not to allow the scepter to be intercepted. We, Women in Clergy, are calling on other Christian women not to allow the scepter to be intercepted because we are not ignorant of the devices of the enemy.
“It has also become paramount we ask Nigerians if they truly know what change means; are we changing for the better or for the worse?
“This is a man who has come to revive the moribund rail system, a man who has come to ensure that several lands are been used for farming, he has made sure that food items prices are stabilized reasonably. What about 35 percent affirmative action? We are not just showing our support for Mr. President. We have seen with both spiritual and physical eyes that he actually means well for the country.
“The Youwin project is one of the many interventions of Mr. President on how to empower our young people. We are happy he thinks about the poor. We all know that many people are facing challenges in the country, but slow and steady wins the race.
“This endorsement is a mandate. It's to tell Mr. President that we will carefully monitor his government if he returns come May 29. We advise him to choose those who will work with him carefully as iron sharpens iron. We will be very critical of Jonathan's second term, hence he just needs people who are ready to work and make sacrifices for the nation in his cabinet and other important areas of government.
“There are several issues he needs to address in his second term. Unemployment is undoubtedly an issue, which we expect technocrats to handle. We must not allow wrong people in government as we make to return Jonathan in May. He has tried in the area of job creation, but many are still jobless. We need him to employ the service of people who are passionate about job creation
“We want him to also look at housing in FCT. Houses are very expenses in Abuja and few other states. We want him to step up in that area. We will hold him accountable if the target we will set for him is not met. People should hold leaders accountable for any failure instead of calling for their "heads" or calling for some utopian change.
“Jonathan is a good man; he is a humble man who still calls former President, Obasanjo, a father despite the name-calling by the former President. This is because he knows the value of a father. For these reasons and many more, the Women in Clergy are endorsing Jonathan for another four years.
“We are calling on Nigerian women to go all out and collect their permanent voters cards, PVCs, as it is very important. The devil you know is better than the so-called angel of change we do not know. Women should endeavor to sacrifice the elections day, stay there with their PVCs and vote for Jonathan,” Roberson advised.