By Emmanuel Afonne
Former Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to support the Jennifer Etuh Foundation (JEF) to empower the under-served women and girls in the country with quality education and health.
Jonathan gave the pledge in Abuja, at the inauguration of the foundation specifically set up in memory of late Mrs Jennifer Etuh, wife of Mr Thomas Etuh, Chairman, Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), who died in 2020.
He said people were usually celebrated because of the impact they made in the lives of others, and that in Jennifer’s case, her love for the poor would always be remembered even in death.
“It is not how long you live on earth that matters but what people say about you; we are here celebrating this lady because of what she achieved in a short while.
“People like this are rare to see because when she saw that she couldn’t survive her ailment, she told the husband ‘build a foundation for me to focus on girl-child education and health’.
“I am happy that the husband, children and friends have laboured to establish this foundation. As the Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, we will partner with Jennifer Etuh Foundation in every respect,” Jonathan said.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, lauded the late Mrs Etuh describing her as a woman of virtue.
Gbajabiamila regretted that he never had the opportunity to meet Mrs Etuh before her death but noted that the foundation had given him the opportunity to pay her a respect.
“Testimonies abound, but I must say that Mrs Jennifer Etuh came on a mission and she accomplished her mission and I will support the foundation with what I have and prayers,” he said.
In his memorial sermon, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Regional Pastor, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), United Kingdom (UK), said Jennifer ran a good course and finished with an impressive score.
“Written upon Mrs Etuh’s grave was that part of the scripture that says, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith’; Mrs Etuh’s deeds live on
“Those who died in the Lord are blessed because of where they go and who they go to meet,” the pastor said.
Earlier, Mr Thomas Etuh said he would forever remain grateful to God for achieving the desire of his wife which was to build a foundation to cater for less privileged women and girls.
Etuh said that the Jennifer Etuh Foundation comprising hospitals and schools would be established in the six geopolitical zones of the country to take care of our girls and women especially those with breast cancer.
“Before my wife died, she talked about things she wanted our four kids and I to give out and things she wanted for the foundation.
“She wanted hospital care that will be subsidised and a place where young ladies can acquire skills.
“We have contracted three world class hospitals, three cancer diagnostic centre and vocational centres; one each in Osun, Imo, Cross River, Lagos, Gombe, Kogi and in a state in North West; these hospitals are mother and child.
“Jennifer told me that I should put whatever she has in the foundation and basically these are her jewellery, wristwatches and so on,” Etuh said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jennifer Etuh Foundation has programmes and interventions for the less privileged on girl-child education, maternal and child healthcare, women skill acquisition and entrepreneurship as well as women empowerment.
It also focuses on women vocational empowerment and education. (NAN)