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Someone has compiled a list of Patience Jonathan’s many battles

Mrs. Patience Jonathan
In this piece, OLUSOLA FABIYI
recounts the style brought to the political space by the wife of
President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, during the outgoing political
dispensation

The wife of President Goodluck Jonathan,
Patience, was not a contestant for any political office in the just
concluded general election. However, she was more prominent at the
various campaigns of her political party, the Peoples Democratic Party,
was involved in – during the countdown to the polls.
She was optimistic that her intervention
in the campaigns would save from defeat her husband, who was the
presidential candidate of the PDP – and whose public rating had
plummeted.
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Popularly
referred to as ‘Mama Peace’ by admirers, Patience was a delight to
watch as she danced to various songs by popular musicians on
magnificently decorated podiums draped in the party ’s green-white-red
flag colours. And she had no patience when lambasting the opposition All
Progressives Congress, which was at the receiving end of her outbursts.
Indeed, Patience poked direct verbal attacks and innuendos at the
presidential candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari.
At a campaign rally organised in
collaboration with PDP women in Lokoja, Kogi State, Patience appealed to
her audience to vote en masse for the PDP and her husband. She said
that Buhari’s brain is dead. Urged to speak further by her supporters
who shouted, “Mama Peace, tell them,” she described Buhari as unfit to
govern Nigeria.
The retired permanent secretary from
Bayelsa State, who is more at home with Pidgin English than Standard
English, said, “Wetin e dey find again? E dey drag with im pikin mate,”
in Pidgin English. “Old man wey no get brain, him brain don die pata
pata.” Shaking her heads with contentment because of the approval she
got from the cheering crowd, she further told the crowd that their days
of freedom were numbered if they voted Buhari. “If you vote Buhari, na
your prison; if you vote APC, na your wahala.” Taunting them about the
catchphrase of the APC which is “change,” Patience said, “What is
change? Why did you not change things when you were there? Is it now
that you want to be doing the things you weren’t doing before?
 “Jonathan
looked at us and said, ‘Women, I am giving you the position of the
Chief Justice of this country.’ Okonjo-Iweala is a woman, Diezani is a
woman. 70 per cent of his cabinet is women. He also gave us the
opportunity to start enrolling for the regular combatant course at the
NDA (Nigerian Defence Academy). He wants continuity because he has vowed
to do more. He places Nigerians in his mind and if he says he will do
this, he will do it. So what are we looking for? If we women of Nigeria
don’t appreciate Goodluck and we are looking for (a) bus conductor? It
is left for us.”
Amina Namadi Sambo

Amina Namadi Sambo
After appealing to voters to obtain their
Permanent Voter Cards in order to participate in the election, she told
them that she did not come to them with empty hands after all. “I thank
you very much the people of Kogi. This time around I came to thank you
very well. I brought some gifts for you, I brought rice, I brought meat,
I brought brocade. I brought many things for you. These things are not
for election but to thank you very well.”
In another rally in Calabar, Cross River
State, Patience said that anyone chanting “change” should be stoned.
“I’m telling you, anyone that comes and tell(s) you change, stone that
person. What you did not do in ‘19 kikilili,’ is it now that age has
caught up with you that you want to come and change? You can’t change
rather you will turn back to a baby.”
At the Akwa Ibom PDP women rally,
Patience took time to teach the women the meaning of “corruption.” Her
decision to speak on the topic, it was gathered, was informed by the
APC’s anti-corruption campaign. In the countdown to the presidential
election, especially, the Jonathan administration was accused on many
occasions of being weak to wage war on corruption. But Patience said the
APC’s promise to fight corruption should be discarded, describing it as
a lie.
She said she was at the rally to say the
truth. In a peculiar voice, she said, “Akwa Ibom people, judge o,
because we are not here for lies. We are not here for propaganda;
because their own number one campaign is (anti) corruption. As if they
are not corrupt. They are not corrupt. What do you call corruption? He
has a house. You, are you living outside? Are you living in the forest?
It’s corruption. In abroad, if a young boy works so hard and buy(s) a
copter, we praise the boy. But in Nigeria, if a young boy works so hard
and buy(s) a copter, we say he’s corrupt. Why? Why can’t we encourage
the young ones to grow? Why can’t we encourage them to do better? We,
our mother born us and train us, why they trained us is that we should
be better than them. Are we to bring the young ones down? It’s not our
portion.”
In unison, the women shouted, “Amen!”
She urged the electorate in the state not
to throw away the opportunity of returning her husband to power, saying
that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Besides, she warned that
the opposition was planning to build prisons where she said criminals
would to be kept.
Buttressing her illustration with one of
her hands behind her, she said, “A bird at hand is worth a million in
the bush. Nigerian women, let us shine our eyes. Women of Nigeria, are
you ready to go to prison? Are you ready to go and give your father food
in the prison? It is not our portion. We reject it.
“Akwa Ibom State is a PDP state. It’s not
for expired drugs, because APC cannot heal you, outdated drugs cannot
heal you. Let them call it any name. Just like as my husband younger
brother (Governor Godswill Akpabio) have (sic) said, they will continue
changing name until they will reach (sic) Ebola. And they will call it
Ebola.
“You know what Ebola normally do?
Although Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has said Nigeria is not Ebola country.
So, they cannot bring Ebola to Nigeria because Dr. Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan and PDP government will wipe it off. And they will bury it
because it cannot stay here at all. So, let them continue changing their
name. If they fail this time, because I know they have failed, you will
hear they will change their name again. They will change it and answer
another name.”
Aishat Buhari

[/media-credit] Aishat Buhari
Her many references to prison in the
course of her campaigns suggested that Patience dreaded jail. At Ibadan,
Patience stated that the APC was planning to send her to prison. But in
order to avoid this, she invoked the ‘Holy ghost fire’.
She said, “I want to warn you not to
listen to the APC. The APC does not have materials to match what the PDP
has on (the) ground. Their candidate was there in governance initially.
What did he do? They only sent your fathers to prison. They are
planning to even send me to prison. Holy ghost fire! Holy ghost fire!
Holy ghost fire! They have nothing to offer.”
As she prepares to vacate Aso Rock with
her husband on May 29, Nigerians will still recall how she burst into
tears when she realised that Hajiya Nana Shettima, the wife of Borno
State Governor, was absent at a second enlarged stakeholders’ meeting on
the abducted schoolgirls. The President’s wife burst into tears after
she took a roll call and discovered that the governor’s wife and the
other people she invited refused to honour her invitation. Before she
shed tears, she said repeatedly, “There is God in everything we are
doing. There is God in everything we are doing. Those bloods that are
sharing in Borno will answer. God will answer. What of two teachers that
can tell us that they conducted that exam, do you come with any,
Principal? No, too? Na only you waka come? Chai, chai, there’s God,
there is God , there is God!’’ And Patience wept.
The wife of the President had summoned
the governor’s wife, officials of the West African Examination Council,
security chiefs and other government officials to her ‘office’ to seek
clarification on the conflicting issues about the exact number of the
missing schoolgirls from Chibok. She was, however, astonished that the
majority of the officials refused to turn up. This action infuriated
her. She didn’t hide her displeasure as she said in anger, “I asked her
to come with the principal and parents: she did not turn up till today.
She is the mother of these children, I am their grandmother. She should
be more concerned and come to her grandma. The police, Army, WAEC,
government officials came with a few of their own but no parent was
present to tell us their child was kidnapped or among those who escaped.
It is because we are pained and crying, that is why I am doing so. Why
should I cry more than the bereaved?”
PDP women leaders such as Amina, the wife
of Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Helen, the wife of the Senate
President, David Mark; and PDP national women leader, Kema Chikwe, among
several others, will miss the enthusiasm and fun Patience brings to
politicking.
Even her fellow African ‘First Ladies’
are getting set to bid her goodbye as she prepares to quit her position
as the President of the African Ladies Peace Mission.
Nigerians are patiently waiting to see if
her successor, Aishat Buhari, would surpass the records set by the
Rivers-born politician.
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Kemisola Adeyemi

Kemisola Adeyemi is the Assistant Editor of Kemi Filani News. She loves to write and write and write and hopes to own a publishing firm someday! Email: [email protected]

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