Finally, the first lady, the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience returned to the country precisely on Wednesday 17th October 2012 after spending about seven weeks in a foreign country. According to media reports, she arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja from her ‘trip’ abroad believed by many Nigerians including the press to be Germany.
She arrived in one of the aircrafts in the presidential fleet. Immediately she alighted from the aircraft, she debunked the widely speculated media reports that she travelled abroad for cosmicetic or plastic surgery (the type that took the life of the former first lady, Stella Obasanjo) as well as being an in-patient in a ‘popular’ German hospital on account of a terminal disease. She also added that her husband, the President loved her physique.
In the same media report, it was said that she appeared to have lost weight. She said and I quote, “I am happy to be back in Nigeria. There are a few Nigerians that are saying whatever they like not what God planned because God has plan for all of us. God has said it all that when two or three gathered in His name, He will be with them. Nigerians gathered and prayed for me and God listened and heard their prayers, so I thank God for that”.
She also said that the prayers of Nigerians sustained her during what she called her ‘‘period of trials’’. Funny enough, her media aide, Ayo Osinlu, who had hitherto claimed that the first lady was resting abroad after the rigours of hosting the just concluded African First Ladies Summit, made it known to the press that she would not be able to grant interview because she ‘needed to rest”.
Who is lying and who is telling the truth here? In fact, if you are still in doubt as to why this great country is still the way it is, a critical examination of this macabre dance by GEJ and his group will get you relieved.
ISSUES: First, the first lady of this big country left the shores of the country about seven weeks ago unannounced.Second, amidst the rumour of sickness, the presidency moved to debunk it. Third, the presidency told the good people of this country that she was just ‘resting’ abroad. She returned after seven weeks of ‘resting’ amidst fanfare and appeared to have lost weight. She also said that prayers from Nigerians helped her during the period of trial.
To be frank, the wife of the president can decide to go for stomach or head surgery, nobody actually gives a damn. She can also fall sick and need to be treated just like every other person (except that unlike the ordinary people of her country, she can choose to go to the best hospitals on earth whereas numerous majority of her country people have no other choice other than to visit the death centres they call health centres).
But my problem with the presidency is the unashamed deceit they have been leading the Nigerian people with. If they could deliberately lie to Nigerians over something as important as this, then where lie their integrity and the honesty they pledged to serve with?
Indeed, the first lady, Patience unknowingly proved dishonest practice beyond any reasonable doubt by appreciating Nigerians for praying for her during her trial period. If indeed she was resting, did she need prayers to be able to rest? Mr. President and co still thinks that we are in 17th or 18th century where dishonesty cannot easily be noticed. They indeed deluded themselves and not the poor masses of this country.
Right from when the media ‘frenzy’ started from the first day , the press has been getting accurate details on her whereabouts to the point of predicting correctly the date of her return yet the presidency decided to deny it. Come on fellow compatriots, this is not the Nigeria of 1990s. The presidency especially the president should not forget so soon the consequences of the lies and deceits of Yar’Adua’s ailment and she (the first lady) should also remember in case she has forgotten that being the first lady of this great country makes her a public figure and a concern to all.
What a deceitful government! I read on national dailies with sheer disgust the comment of the first lady’s media aid, Ayo Osinlu where she said that the first lady was not a public servant and didn’t have a return date to the country. What do we call this my good people of Nigeria? How could she easily forget that Dame, her boss doubles both s the first lady and Permanent Secretary to Bayelsa State Government? Of course she has a right to privacy and secrecy ONLY if she was a private citizen, but fortunately or unfortunately, she and her husband ARE NOT.
How many civil servants in Bayelsa and other states need rest but can’t have it due to lack of capacity or even for fear of being relieved of their jobs? If she goes abroad to relax, by virtue of her position, why should it be shrouded in controversies, speculation and secrecy? If the President’s wife absence was a private matter as they claimed, why was she receiving a public welcome? Why didn’t she come by commercial plane and sneak quietly into Aso Rock. It’s a shame!
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