The president’s wife said she could visit Rivers at anytime.
The first lady, Patience Jonathan, has said her current visit to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, is not meant to unseat Governor Rotimi Amaechi as has been insinuated in the media.
There have been media reports that Mrs. Jonathan, who is an indigene of the state, was backing the anti-Amaechi members of the state House of Assembly and planning to remove the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Rotimi Amaechi.
Five Rivers lawmakers of the 32 members of the Assembly have declared their opposition to the assembly and the governor on some state issues. The five, believed to be loyal to the presidency, have also been accused of plotting to impeach the governor.
The first lady’s office, through Ayo Osinlu, the spokesperson to Mrs. Jontahan, claimed in a statement on Sunday evening that it has “observed reports in some of today’s (Sunday’s) national dailies which are an obvious attempt by “certain interests to link the current visit of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, with a desire to unseat the governor of the state.”
Mr. Amaechi has had a fall out with the presidency and the leadership of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, over his stance on various public issues.
The president’s wife, however, said she is not in the state to work against the governor’s interest and “the entire country is her constituency as mother of the nation, a situation that comes with the liberty to visit any part thereof at will.”
She also explained some of the programs she travelled to Rivers for.
“Her Excellence was the Special Guest of Honour at the official commissioning of the Yitzhak Rabin International School, Port Harcourt on Friday, June 15; during which she also received an award from the Yitzhak Rabin Centre for African Development for her successful advocacy for women empowerment and the achievement of enduring peace in Nigeria and around the continent.
“She also featured eminently as Mother of the Day at the wedding of her brother and member of the Rivers State Legislature, Evans Bipi, on Saturday.”
Mr. Bipi is one of the five lawmakers accused of plotting to impeach Mr. Amaechi.
“The First Lady will finally receive well wishers at the burial of her grandfather on Sunday, the 23rd,” her spokesperson said.
Mr. Osinlu, however, claimed that, “It is difficult to see how any of the activities above is associated with the political circumstances of anyone.
“Perhaps we need to remind those who are crying wolf and are being harassed by their own ghost, that Rivers is the home state of the First Lady, which makes her a principal stakeholder with all the rights and privileges to visit the state as she considers needful.”