By Archibong Jeremiah
Members of Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realization, POWER, through Political Advancement for Women, PPA4W have given financial support to some 17 female candidates contesting in the forthcoming general election in the state.
The support which cuts across all political parties and offices both at state and national level ranges from fifty thousand naira to one hundred and fifty thousand naira.
This event took place yesterday in Calabar where the POWER Founder and Chairman Board of Trustees, the Cross River State First lady, Obioma Imoke, disclosed that the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries were stringent and aimed at supporting serious minded candidates only.
Her words: “We focused on serious women who against all odds go into the field”, maintaining that, “We know a lot of women in the field that are not serious”.
According to her, “We are watching you and we will hold you accountable as far as you collect money from us”. Noting that, “When you win and become successful you will become an inspiration to other women, what we are doing here today is small”.
Earlier, in a welcome address, the Executive Director of POWER, Mrs. Tammie Kammonke said the financial support program of POWER is symbolic.
“We want to ensure that women are given ample and equal opportunities to achieve their dreams, we are not contesting roles with men but to say women should be given equal opportunities as men”, Kammonke said.
In a special presentation the Alternate Executive Director of POWER, Mrs. Vivian Efem Bassey maintained that POWER is an initiative born out of the zeal to maintain equilibrium between the roles played by women and men in the society.
The objective of POWER Political Advancement For Women, she said is to advocate for increased female participation in political leadership, sensitize women to participate in elective politics, create and maintain funds to support the campaign efforts of female political candidates among others.
Going further, she informed that POWER has recorded victory in three major projects including: POWER model (a woman entrepreneurial project), Project AWAKE’s agricultural business development and POWER Political Advancement for Women aimed at increasing women participation in politics.
The event featured cash presentation to 6 beneficiaries present out of the 17 and goodwill messages from various political parties represented, the parties are: Independent Democrats (ID), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On his part the State Chairman of ID, Pastor Sunday Michael maintained that women involvement in politics is sacrosanct, “Women are prudent in resource management than men, they have more sympathy than men”, he said.
While the PDP State Secretary, Mr. Godwin Etta said when one intends to undertake an action for humanity, it is a big challenge as he revealed that, “In Cross River State today we have 56 Councilors that are women out of 196 and 15 Vice Chairman out of 18”. Advising that, “As men who have positions don’t forget their wives, let women do same”.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA state chairman who doubles as the Chairman State Inter Party Council also supported his counterparts by reiterating that, “Women are better than men”.
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