The first lady asked the Rivers Governor to extend an olive branch.
The First Lady, Patience Jonathan, has asked Governor Rotimi Amaechi to fly the olive branch, and resist being used by outsiders against his own people.
Speaking at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when she received members of the Niger Delta Bishops Forum/South South Christian Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Jonathan reiterated the need for the warring factions in Rivers politics to employ dialogue as a means of resolving the contending issues amicably.
She urged those “who are crying more than the bereaved to stop magnifying the misunderstanding,” according to a statement sent to the media by her aides.
Mrs. Jonathan said “Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Mr. Nyesom Wike remain her sons, brothers and kinsmen, and would do anything to protect both of them”.
The First Lady again called on various interests in the Rivers State crisis to sheath their swords, and find ways to restore peace to the state, so that the current generation can leave a legacy for generations to come. She expressed her commitment to ensuring that peace returns to Rivers State soon, stating that as the President of African First Ladies Peace Mission; her desire is to have peace in her home base.
The leader of the anti-Amaechi lawmakers, Evans Bipi, had stated that he was challenging the governor because of the former’s disrespect for Mr. Jonathan. He described Mrs. Jonathan as his Jesus Christ after the violence in the Rivers House of Assembly following attempts by Mr. Bipi and four lawmakers to impeach the speaker.
Quoting biblical references, Mr. Jonathan said she has committed the situation in Rivers State to prayers, “because I believe there is nothing prayer cannot do” and “when God says yes, nobody can say no”.
The First Lady, who charged the Bishops to pray that God should return peace to Rivers State, expressed faith that the present generation of leaders will leave a legacy of peace for generations yet unborn.
The Bishops, led by Archbishop God-Do-Well, said that they were not influenced or bribed to pay the visit, but got inspiration from God to take practical steps to restore peace in Nigeria, especially Rivers State.
Mr. God Do-Well stated that their presence was in fulfilment of the church’s responsibility to shape a culture of peace and justice.
Prayers were offered for peace in Nigeria, Rivers State, and for the well being of the first family.