First Lady Patience Jonathan has dismissed suggestions that her recent visit to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, was to plan the impeachment of embattled Governor Rotimi Amaechi and campaign for her husband in the run up to the 2015 presidential election.
Some opposition leaders have criticised the president’s wife for allegedly engaging in premature political campaign for her husband in breach of the Electoral Act and a recent guideline by the Independent National Electoral Commission. They also called on INEC to sanction her for the act.
But in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday night by one of her aides, Isiaka Aliagan, Mrs. Jonathan said her visit to Port Harcourt was to attend private events and wondered why the trip was being subjected to varied interpretations.
“It is important, therefore, to, for the records, state here that her Excellency’s visit was not in connection to 2015 nor was it to unseat the embattled governor of her state as speculated in some quarters,” the statement said. “Her Excellency was in her home state to attend some private events whose dates were closely fixed. The right thing to do therefore, as she has done, was to stay for the programmes.”
Read full statement below.
The recent visit of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to her home state, Port Harcourt, has generated much speculation in the national dailies with varied interpretations from different quarters as to the reason for her Excellency’s visit.
It is important, therefore, to, for the records, state here that her Excellency’s visit was not in connection to 2015 nor was it to unseat the embattled governor of her state as speculated in some quarters. Her Excellence was in her home state to attend some private events whose dates were closely fixed. The right thing to do therefore, as she has done, was to stay for the programmes.
It should be noted that the very people who are giving interpretations to suit their own political inclinations on Her Excellency’s supposedly ‘long stay’ in her own home state would be the very people that would want to crucify her for ‘wasting’ state resources if she decides to attend each event separately.
For the records, her Excellence was the Special Guest of Honour at the official commissioning of the Yitzhak Rabin International School, Port Harcourt on Friday, June 15, 2013, 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.
The following day, Saturday 16, the First Lady was Mother of the Day at the wedding reception of her brother, a member of the Rivers State Legislature, Hon. Evans Bipi, which held at the Civic Centre in Port Harcourt.
Also on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, the First Lady formally opened the South-South Zonal Office of one of her NGOs, the Women for Change and Development Initiative, in Port Harcourt. An event which dovetailed into the distribution of socio-economic empowerment items to less privileged persons.
Lastly before returning to Abuja today, Sunday, June 23, 2013, the First Lady received well wishers at the burial of her grandfather.