Jonathan And His Misconducting First Lady

Now that President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Police and the State Security Service to investigate his wife’s alleged public misdemeanor and scolding of the executive governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, he should know that what actually transpired at the event in Okrika transcended mere cantankerous outburst but an outright rehearsal of a pre-arranged script given to the first lady and which she had waited for the opportunity to play it out.

It was really unfortunate that the first lady who is expected to give due respect and honour to the governor who holds an office recognized by the constitution decided to meddle herself in local politics for whatever reasons of which she must be regretting now. It was rude of her to have attacked the governor. It shows that she is a person that cannot be trusted with public office as she has serially shown to be out of control of her emotions and biases. This is the problem which often comes up when people are unexpectedly elevated into public office they did not prepare for. The president’s wife needs to be schooled on the roles of a first lady which at best is a mere courtesy title and nothing more than that.

Those who know will tell you that the entire day was saved by the Holy Ghost who prevailed on Amaechi to calmly accept the public embarrassment and insult because the real Rotimi who is also not on the dummy side of life would have there and then given it back to the First Lady and nothing would have happened.

Worse still, supposing Amaechi’s wife was present at the event and also decided to engage the president’s wife for rudely talking and disgracing her husband in the public, how would the scene have been?

No doubt, the presidential probe which is to ascertain what truly transpired at the event in Okirika, Rivers state came as a result of what President Jonathan called contradicting accounts given by his wife and the Rivers state governor. Embarrassing to the president, the incident has received widespread condemnation and raised again the recurring issues of public misconducts of the First Lady.

The Governor had briefed Dame Patience ahead of the event that he was reaching an agreement about pulling down some structures in order for the state government-owned model school sited in the area to have the space required to meet the school’s standard He equally had told the first lady that the owners of the structures would be duly compensated. This was within his rights as the state’s chief executive and more so, the said school project was for the good of children of Patience Jonathan’s home village.

It was obvious the president’s wife was not acting alone. The ovation she received and the opposition’s subsequent hailing of her act was an indication that she acted out the script of those angling to undermine Amaechi as governor of Rivers state.

Patience Jonathan who hails from Okrika, Rivers state even before the ugly incident was believed to be working under cover to plot an Okrika governor to replace Amaechi and this has been the widespread speculation and even boasting by the Abuja group since Jonathan was sworn- in as the substantive president. She has a right to do that, but her political naivety caused the terrible mis-acting of the script. She gave away the game plan and further acquired more enemies for the husband thereby eroding whatever form of support he is anticipating from certain circles in his bid to clinch the PDP ticket for the 2011 presidential election.
Was it not interesting that the first lady had to wait for the occasion to suddenly realize that land is a serious matter in Okrika and that her people needed land to survive? Since her stay as the first lady of Bayelsa and now the wife of the president of the federal republic, what has she done to better the lives of Okrika and Rivers people?

How could Patience have been so callous in her conduct just few seconds to her husband’s declaration of interest to run for the position of president? Jonathan needs Rivers State’s vote in the PDP presidential primaries as much as he needs the cooperation of Amaechi who wields great influence in the governors’ forum. The last thing Jonathan needs now is more political disaffections or enemies.

Interestingly, Patience Jonathan, a graduate of the College of Education Port Harcourt opted to teach a Ph.D holder (almost) in English studies how to use words in English language. She told Amaechi to desist from the use of the word ‘must’, which in itself was funny because she on her part insisted the governor ‘must’ not use the word must. No be yeye be that?

Jonathan’s police and security probe is more of a political damage control rather than administrative exigency. The first lady’s behavior may have dealt a serious blow on their relationship with the Amaechis and their gang. Even if Jonathan gets the PDP ticket, that does not guarantee that he will win the election if he and his first lady go about acquiring enemies in areas he should have been least worried about victory at the polls.

How can a cantankerous first lady be an asset to an embattled candidate who is struggling with the yoke of zoning and de-zoning? Jonathan obviously has a bigger battle to fight in his home before coming out to face the northern conspiracy which is already threatening to swallow his ambition.

Mrs Jonathan’s attack on Amaechi exposed her political immaturity and for the good interest of the husband whose fate is even hanging on the goodwill of the likes of Amaechi she should stay away from local politics.

Since Jonathan came to the presidency as the vice president, the wife has serially shown she completely lack the comportment expected of holders of exalted offices such as that of the first lady and this is not only disgraceful to the husband but dangerous to the exalted office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

She should go back to Rivers state to publicly apologise to the governor and she should even do it in Okrika, the same community where she misbehaved.
She needs to be reminded that there is no provision for the office of the first lady in the Nigerian constitution. Unless she learns this lesson she may unconsciously be erecting obstacles for Ebele, the husband.
SENIOR FYNEFACE, ELELEWON STREET GRA II, PORT HARCOURT (senior_fyneface@yahoo.com)

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