First Lady, Patience Jonathan, has denied newspaper reports that top officials of the Rivers State government, including the Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, who came to receive her were ignored on her arrival at Port Harcourt International Airport on Sunday for preparation of her mother’s burial.
A statement issued by her director of information, Ayo Adesugba, stated that some of the media reports went to the extent of alleging that the first lady “snubbed” the Deputy Governor.
Adesugba clarified that it is the custom for the governor’s wife to receive the first lady whenever she visits any state, noting that while the wife of Bayelsa State Governor traveled from Yenagoa to receive her, that of the Rivers State Governor did not pay her the same courtesy.
Jonathan observed that she had refrained from commenting on issues relating to the politics of Rivers State and does not want her name to be used to heat up the polity.
She cautioned that her name be left out of the politics in Rivers State.
“The First Lady, like any Nigerian, is free to visit the state of her birth. Dame Jonathan bears no grudge towards anyone as she is an individual who continues to tirelessly advocate for peace and harmony in Nigeria. We therefore reiterate that the First Lady’s name be left out of the politics in the State,” the statement urged.
Adesugba, however goes on to explain that the first lady’s action at the airport was borne out of anger aaa the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and his wife had failed to pay her a condolence visit since her mother died.
“It is instructive to note that since the death of Mrs. Charity Oba, the mother of the First Lady, several groups and individuals from across the country have come to condole the First Family at the State House, Abuja,” Adesugba stated.
“However, the Governor and the wife from the State which the First Lady hails have not paid such a visit,” he noted.