Patience Jonathan did not buy 200 cars for Africa’s First Ladies – Presidency

The Presidency on Wednesday denied allegations in the media that the Federal Government purchased 200 exotic cars as gifts for Africa’s First Ladies who are presently attending a summit being hosted by the the wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan.

In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the report was described as “utterly false and misleading”.

The statement clarified that while cars were provided for the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) summit in Abuja, they were not meant as gifts as the NGO is funded by stakeholders and members of the private sector who identify with the objectives of the AFLPM.

“As part of its own contributions to the successful hosting of the summit by the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, Coscharis Motors Ltd.  offered to provide some cars for the event at no cost to the organisers or the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Under an agreement signed by the committee and Coscharis Motors, all the cars will be returned to the company after the summit.”

They denied any truth to the reports, saying it was falsified with no facts to support the claims.

The Congress for Progressive Change CPC had earlier described as “disgusting”, the hosting of the African First Ladies under the aegis of the African First Ladies for Peace Mission (AFLPM).

In a press statement released on Wednesday, the National Publicity Secretary of the party Engineer Rotimi Fashakin said the party  noted with utter disgust, the hosting of the African First wives.

“As a Party, we wholeheartedly condemn this infernal show of insensitivity on the part of this administration and indeed, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).”, the statement read.

“What is befuddling is the attendant huge depletion of the Nation’s scarce resources in hosting the event. It was reported that two hundred exotic cars (with street value running into Hundreds of millions of Naira) have been ordered for the convenience of the guests.
“What is stupefying is that this unbudgeted spending is coming when many states of the Federation are on shoe-string budget because of the depressed Economy. Indeed, the May allocations from the Federation have not been fully released to these states; it is at this time that the Jonathan administration has chosen to host a rather feckless and utterly profligate jamboree.”


Why I appointed Patience Jonathan as Perm Sec – Dickson

The Bayelsa State government said the appointment of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, as a permanent secretary in its state, is in recognition of her services to the state and nation, coupled with the fact that she was on a directorate level officer in its civil service.

According to a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to Bayelsa State Governor, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, “unknown to a number of people, the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, joined the Rivers State Civil Service in the 90s, and upon the election of her husband as Deputy Governor in 1999, transferred her service to the civil service of Bayelsa State. She rose through the ranks of the public service of Bayelsa State and was last appointed into the directorate cadre as a Level 15 officer in 2005”.

The state government’s statement was in response to the criticisms which trailed the inclusion of the First Lady’s name in the list of 19 public servants appointed permanent secretaries on July 11.

“We want to place it on record that His Excellency, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, is convinced firstly, that wives of governors, vice presidents, Presidents and all other spouses whose positions are not recognized by the laws of the country and are not funded by the government should be encouraged and supported to pursue and maintain their independent careers.


Dickson appoints Patience Jonathan as Permanent Secretary

The Bayelsa State Governor,  Seriake Dickson, has appointed the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan, as one of the seventeen new Permanent Secretaries in its state civil service.

According to a statement from the Office of the Head of Service, Gloria Izonfo, the president’s wife was appointed alongside 16 senior civil servants.

“By the constitutional power conferred on the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, in section 203 sub-section 2c, Dame Patience Jonathan and seventeen others have been elevated to the position of Permanent Secretary in the state civil service,” the statement read.

The other seventeen permanent secretaries are: Mr. J.E. Oye, Samson Ayibeboa, Mrs. Antonia Koroye, Ziwari Billie, Buruboyefa John, Dikuro Ayebameh, Serge Williams, Olu Kuruom, G.I.Izein, Mrs.Philomena Alodie, Dr. Omietimi Kojo, Ese Izonebi, Ohougha Maythias, James Clinton, Mrs. Linnet Tebepah, Moses Teibowei, Dr. A. Sanayi and Vivian Odiwei.

As a wife of former governor of Bayelsa State, and First Lady of the state, Mrs Jonathan operated more under the shadow of her husband, and so was not exactly visible. But all that is in the past now.

Now, she is an engaging national personality, what with her idiosyncrasies which have defined and endeared her to many Nigerians.

Patience Jonathan is not responsible for Dana crash – Presidency

The Presidency on Tuesday reacted to rumours making round via social media about the possible cause of last Sunday Dana plane crash in Lagos citing VIP movement involving Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of Nigeria’s president.

A Dana MD-83 airplane crashed on Sunday in Lagos, killing the 153 people on board and an unknown number of others on the ground.

The plane according to the rumour being peddled crashed because the airspace was closed for the First Lady’s movement in Lagos.

In a press statement signed by Ayo Osinlu, the Special assistant to the President, office of the First Lady, the presidency said:

“Our attention has been drawn to the orchestrated plan to politicize the Sunday Dana Air crash in Lagos in which many people lost their lives, through rumours about the possible cause of the accident citing VIP movement involving the wife of the President.

“We consider it callous, inhuman and devilish for anyone to have thought of wrapping such national calamity in political garb by insinuating that the plane crashed because the airspace was closed for the First Lady’s movement in Lagos.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the First Lady arrived Lagos at about 2pm on Saturday, 2nd June, 2012 for a private engagement and was billed to leave for Abuja on Monday, 4th June, 2012.

“In compliance with her itinerary, the First Lady arrived Lagos on Saturday. She was at a public event on Sunday when the accident occurred and promptly abandoned the ceremony as a mark of respect for the victims and retired to the State House, Marina. She left Lagos at exactly 13.15hrs on Monday, 4th June, 2012, according to schedule.

“It is therefore surprising that some mischievous persons will see this moment of National mourning as an opportunity to blackmail and impugn the First Lady’s integrity.

“This is the time for all Nigerians to be sober and pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and not a time to subordinate the interests of our nation to narrow self-serving interests,” the statement reads.

The statement said that “Mrs Jonathan had no intention to travel on Sunday and never did. Like all Nigerians, she has been mourning the dead.”

Federal govt has abandoned us – Oba of Lagos

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu has decried the perceived neglect of Lagos state by the federal government, and demanded an urgent redress of what he described as ‘’injustice’’.

The Oba made this known request while receiving the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, in his palace.

The President’s wife, who is on a two-day visit to the state, paid a coutesy visit to the monarch, where she was accompanied by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa and wives of both Katsina and Bayelsa state governors.

The King described Lagos state as a “mini-Nigeria” as it hosts every tribe in Nigerian from across the federation, noting “there are a lot of pressures on the infrastructural facilities available in the state, owing to the daily influx of people from the six geo-political zones.”

Oba Akiolu pleaded with the President, that “the state does not deserve marginalisation” as he stated that “the federal government has not done much for the state.”

He further urged the president to fix all the federal roads in the state, which he described as eye sores.

Described Lagos state as the nation’s economic nerve centre, Oba Akiolu also enjoined the President to release all the property and money due to the state for development.

He warned the President to halt the Boko Haram threat before it spreads to other zones.

Oba Akiolu also advised the President to see Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as partners in progress, instead of relating to them as members of the opposition.

The First Lady told the King that that she was in Lagos to thank the people of the state for the support they gave to her husband during the last election.

Mrs. Jonathan noted the expressed grievances and promised to convey them to the President.

She also gave the assurance that the President will reciprocate the kind gestures of Lagosians.