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Presidency: Leave Dame Jonathan Out of Rivers Politics

Mrs. Patience Jonathan

SAN FRANCISCO, August 19, (THEWILL) –  The Presidency on Monday declared that the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, like any Nigerian, is free to visit the state of her birth, Rivers, saying she bears no grudge towards anyone as she is an individual who continues to tirelessly advocate for peace and harmony in Nigeria.

Specifically asking that her name be left out of the politics of the State, the Presidency maintained that Dame Jonathan does not want her name to be used to heat up the polity in the state.

A statement  issued by the Director (Information) in the Office of the First Lady at The Presidency, Mrs. Ayo Adesugba,   said for some time now, Dame Jonathan has refrained from commenting on issues relating to the politics of the  State, maintaining that her weekend visit to the state was  a private visit, to make arrangements for the burial of her late mother with members of her extended family.

And warning political gladiators in the Rivers State crisis to stop painting the first lady as an aggressor, The Presidency said in the statement: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in some media claiming that the First Lady, Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan, snubbed the Deputy Governor of Rivers state, said to have gone to the Port Harcourt International Airport to receive her.

The reports, by all indications, represent a contrived motive of some gladiators in the Rivers state crisis to continue to paint the first lady as an aggressor.

“It should be clear to all that for quite some time now, the first lady has refrained from commenting on issues relating to the Rivers state crisis while these gladiators have continued to use every media at their disposal to fan the embers of disharmony and hatred.

By now, every right thinking person should know those genuinely interested in peace and those who claim to be democrat and committed to peace, but who have continued to heat up the polity.

“It is for this reason of the intrigue at play that the first lady would want to be left out of Rivers state crisis, hence making her visit to the state as quiet as possible, so as not to give room for mischief makers to succeed in their plans.

“Ordinarily, the wife of the state governor receives the first lady whenever she visits any state. That is why the wife of Bayelsa State Governor traveled from Yenagoa to receive the first lady.

In addition, as a daughter Rivers state, the first lady is free to visit the state any time she desires. But we are forced to ask: why the presence of the first lady in Rivers state always generate rumpus?

“It should be noted that while several groups and individuals from across the country came to condole the first lady and Mr. President on the death of her mother, no official of Rivers state government deemed it fit to pay the first family condolence visit, yet they claimed the first lady is a daughter of Rivers state.

“He who must go to equity must go with clean hands. They should learn to give respect to those who deserve respect so that they too can earn respect. “