“Patience Jonathan is probably the worst First Lady Nigeria ever had. Her lust for money and power is alarming with no repentance in sight; her husband does not seem to be in control of her excesses capable of sinking our collective moral value. A staunch public outcry could stop this mundane madness.”
–Samuel Asiwaju

Ever since her husband became President, Patience Jonathan’s public gibberish has always been an embarrassment to most discerning Nigerians. I don’t mean to fault her substandard grammar (which can certainly be improved upon with learning) as much as I do her overall unmeasured comments on many a major national issue. This is however nothing compared to her recent misdeeds in the past couple of months.

Just when I thought Nigeria had seen the worst of insensitive First Ladies in Turai Yar’Adua, Patience Jonathan has showed up with untold nuts! Patience has ostensibly been very preoccupied with entrenching her influence way beyond the moral and sensible standards expected of Nigeria’s First Lady or any other First Lady, for that matter, majorly cashing in on her husband’s generally weak and flawed approach to governance.

It all began with a visit Patience paid to Lagos State on April 12, 2012 with the stated purpose to appreciate women in the state for voting her husband at the April 2011 presidential election. The visit caused a traffic gridlock on the Lagos Island and other parts of Lagos for several hours and equally stifled residents’ commercial and social activities for as long. Reacting angrily and rightly so, Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola, urged the Federal Government to call Patience to order – in a bid to preclude a repetition of the incident. Indeed, that Patience later truculently chided Fashola for his rebuff of her insensitivity and the accompanying malaise it wrought on the denizens of his state smacks of how heartless she is! The very fact that the visit was a strictly political one was enough for Patience to have made it low-key and perhaps helicopter her way to the venue without causing the masses all that trouble.

Also, on July 12, Patience was appointed a Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State by the puppet Governor and Jonathan stooge, Henry Dickson. Whilst the appointment was hinged on claims of a logical follow-up of her alleged civil service career that was halted by her leave of absence since accompanying her husband’s political office pursuits in 1999, it doesn’t make sense that she would serve in absentia and yet be entitled to the full retirement benefits that would accrue to her. In other words, Patience has simply used the influence of her privileged position to legalise a ‘ghost-worker’ status for herself. This is particularly unbecoming of a woman whose husband has promised to rid Nigeria of a status-quo that continues to sustain jumbo recurrent expenses on a generally unproductive bureaucracy.

Again, and following in the footsteps of her sycophancy-enamoured husband who had an Abuja district named after him four months ago, on July 19, Patience Jonathan had a road linking the Defence Police Officers’ Wives’ Association (DEPOWA) with the Shehu Yar’Adua Barracks, in Abuja named after her. Fair enough, the naming of the road after Patience was but at the instance of DEPOWA, which rehabilitated it in the first place. The problem, however, is that Patience should have been humble and discreet enough to not accept the honour as it just goes to add to a long list of favour-seeking politicians and other entities who have accorded her and her husband naming-spree honours of sorts. But that of course is not the case for a First Lady who is having a run to boost her ego like none before her.

The most recent of Patience Jonathan’s gaffes is that which is about her canvassing for the roles of presidents’ wives to be constitutionalised so as to enable them get retirement benefits alongside their spouses. Patience gave the hint in a press briefing shortly after being sworn-in as Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State on July 20, 2012. In a non-altruistic fashion, Patience said recognising the First Lady as an official capacity will “enable the occupier of that position to enjoy benefits of the office like their husbands on retirement.” This is consummate avarice, to say the least!

It is especially striking that in all this, Patience goes about with such utter insouciance! This must be why my friend, Ayobami Oyalowo, says thus of her: “Her insensitivity borders on the inane. It is a clear indication of her…crass stupidity”. I concur with him. Another friend, Aliko Ahmed, adds, rather succinctly: “That’s what we get from an accidental first family”.

Follow Raymond on Twitter @Raymond_Eyo


Posted July 23, 2012 by Raymond Eyo in Aso Villa

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  1. If I won’t say much, Madam dame is trying to make up for her unfortunate past. She behaves like a famished kid, who sees food and think it matters if he eats with both hands and store some in his pocket.Maybe She hasn’t noticed, history will enmesh her disapproved and write her name in the list with leaders who failed and disappointed Nigeria. She is garnishing the name of her family with recipe of betrayal that will make it taste sour for ever in our mouth. Posterity will judge and inundate her with facts of her misdeeds.

  2. Couldn’t be said better, Manuel! Thanks for your insight!

  3. We Nigerians willingly brought this on ourselves. I just hope there’s an end in sight to this travesty

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