Patience Jonathan Locks Down Abuja As She Holds Rally With NCWS


Wife of the president, Dame Patience Jonathan locked down Abuja for the better part of Thursday morning as a mass rally and carnival organized to take “stock of the gains recorded so far in the empowerment of Nigerian women and the quest for peace in the country” held at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

While the carnival organized by the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) in collaboration with the office of the First Lady of the Federation held, residents and visitors to Abuja were subjected to unwarranted restriction and security cordon.

Workers were cut off from the Federal Secretariat on both Shehu Shagari Way and Ibrahim Babangida Road, forcing them to trek for miles to their offices.

Stern-looking, gun carrying security men who had arrived the venue before dawn were said to be ordering vehicles to be parked some 200 metres away from the Square, which is surrounded by the Federal Secretariat.
The programme which brought together over 15,000 Nigerian women is believed to have been organized as part of the ongoing underground campaign for President Jonathan’s 2015 presidential ambition.

As vehicular and human traffic was effectively cut off from all the routes leading to the venue of the First Lady’s rally, tagged, “Nigerian Women Rally for Peace and Empowerment”, frustrated motorists were funnelled to any available space, thereby leading to a chaotic traffic snarl for most part of the day.

As a result, all major streets in the Business District of Abuja, were overflowed with long queues of human and vehicular traffic.

A police helicopter was also seen hovering around the city as long as the programme lasted.

Mrs Jonathan, backed by Vice President, Namadi Sambo and some ministers and their spouses, smiled as she watched thousands of women dance and march past her.

Women in the various military and paramilitary agencies in the country and women organisations were mobilised to sing, dance and march all for the First Lady, just as groups gave goodwill messages to the President’s wife.