Patience Jonathan resigns as Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa

First Lady, Patience Jonathan (right)

The First Lady, Patience Jonathan, has resigned her appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Bayelsa State Civil Service.

Mrs. Jonathan was appointed to the position in July 2012 by Governor Seriake Dickson, five months into his administration.

Sources in the Bayelsa state government told PREMIUM TIMES the First Lady decided to quit following “irreconcilable differences with Governor Dickson”.

The source did not provide details. He only said she resigned over political differences between her and the governor over issues bothering on the politics of the state.

“The whole thing appears to be political. It appears Madam is not happy with the governor. With her resignation, the battle line has been drawn,” the source said.

Governor Dickson has faced criticisms for appointing Mrs. Jonathan as one of the 17 permanent secretaries he appointed into the state civil service shortly after he assumed duties.

Many Nigerians had wondered why the governor would appoint someone and place her on salary when it was clear she was not available to discharge the responsibility of her office.

Some people at the time had accused Mr. Dickson of taking political sycophancy too far.

The First Lady, in her letter of resignation, opted for voluntary retirement, a source said.

A source in the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education said the ministry had already computed and finalized her terminal benefits but declined to disclose the sum due her.

Another senior official of the ministry also confirmed the development and said it was true the First Lady resigned.

When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES, Bayelsa Commissioner for Education, Salo Adikumo, said he too had resigned as Commissioner for Education to pursue his own political ambition.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dickson, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said he was in Abuja, not in Yenagoa, and was therefore not aware of Mrs. Jonathan’s resignation.

Mrs. Jonathan’s spokesperson, Ayo Adewuyi, did not answer or return calls seeking comment.

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