An aide of President Jonathan has said that the insinuations being peddled about probable reasons why northern and ACN controlled state governors stayed away from the burial of Chief Meni Jonathan, the president’s younger brother, are farther from the truth.
The aide, who is reportedly close to the President and who doesn’t want to be named revealed that an elaborate ‘celebration’ was never planned in the first place for a man who died at the young age of 45. “Remember, his mother is still alive. He has an elder brother. If anything, I think his death was untimely and that is not the type of burial you would want to celebrate and invite all the dignitaries,” the aide said.
He said rather than celebrate, the Jonathan family simply wanted to mourn their loss quietly. “If you also notice that the late Meni left behind two wives, nine very young children and a grand child, the wisest thing for now would be to soberly reflect on what to do to assist the very young family he left behind and not to be insinuating political undertones to the event. It was in line with mourning quietly that the family decided not to print any formal invitation cards for the burial. They only took paid advertorial to announce the funeral program.”
While noting that the absence of governors at the burial did not mean they abandoned the president at his time of grief, the aide said already, they (governors) had commiserated with Jonathan at the presidential villa. “Virtually all the governors had visited the President at Aso Rock to commiserate with him. It was there that they got the ‘message’ that the burial would not be a carnival. In fact, the little ‘noise’ that was made about the burial was probably because the President’s family was involved.
“However, many of them, including the governors of Kogi and Benue states actually sent their deputies to the burial in Otuoke at the weekend, while the governors from the neighbouring states in the South-East and South-South attended.” According to him, “many journalists do not even know deputy governors, so they could not differentiate them from the crowd that was why they hurriedly concluded that their states boycotted the burial.”
He said it was most “inhuman” and “insensitive” to attach any political meanings to the pattern of attendance at the rural, noting that but for the fact that President Jonathan was directly involved in the burial rites, he probably would have attended the Kaduna wedding.
At Otuoke, however, to see Chief Meni Jonathan committed to mother earth were Senate President David Mark, Speaker, House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal, his deputy Emeka Ihedioha, as well as governors of Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Rivers, Delta and Abia states.