Patience Jonathan MUST Be Stopped!

Each time the wife of the President, Patience Jonathan, hits the road with her long motorcade, including bulletproof and bombproof limousines, or is having a whale of a time at an event, drivers and commuters who find themselves on her routes always have to live with the bitter experience of the encounter.

As police empty the roads of traffic, forcing drivers to wait as her glamorous convoy drifts by, motorists are trapped in traffic for hours on end, while social and economic life of the affected community is brought to a halt abruptly.

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The recent visit of Mrs. Jonathan to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in which her security details forcibly grounded the movement of residents, is the latest of such excesses that Nigerians have been forced to endure for the past three years. This impunity must stop. According to newspaper reports, Mrs. Jonathan’s security arrangement paralysed activities in the Port Harcourt Government Reservation Area for the four days of her visit. Armoured personnel carriers were deployed at two points, while gun-wielding operatives manned the points leading to her private residence. Many people missed their appointments because they were prevented from moving in and out of their houses.

When she came to Lagos last year, on a “thank-you visit” to some women groups for electing her husband president, she enacted a similar repulsive scenario.  During the visit, Lagos residents were subjected to an unprecedented road blockade, which gave rise to an unnerving five-hour traffic that grounded all human and economic activities. The First Lady was attending that event at Ocean View Restaurant on Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island.

Mrs. Jonathan’s misdemeanour, which still resonates more than a year after it happened, forced Governor Babatunde Fashola to lament, “Lagosians were needlessly inconvenienced…. It dawned on me the need for public officers generally to be more sensitive to the people we serve. It is particularly worrisome that this (she) is not an elected person. I think we all must check how security agencies use the movement of high officers, especially VIPs, to disrupt citizens and taxpayers, whose money is used to fuel all the vehicles and all the apparatus that we use to block the roads against them. It should not get to the level that we close the roads in the state because VIPs want to pass.” It cannot be said better.

But not long after the ridiculous show of power in Lagos, Mrs. Jonathan headed for Warri, Delta State, where she also caused hardship to residents through her security arrangements.  Needless to say, these foul-ups compound gridlocks on our roads.  On a few occasions, the First Lady has also broken protocol. During President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to the United States in September 2012, she breached protocol by disembarking from the aircraft before the President, and shaking hands with officials waiting on the tarmac while her husband was still coming down from the plane. The First Lady is setting a bad example for wives of governors.

The position of the First Lady in the United States, from where the convention spread to other countries, is not an elected one, carries no official duties, and attracts no salary. But it glows with much glamour and the occupier is expected to handle the position with sublime grace. In the United Kingdom, the role of the Prime Ministerial Consort is not official and as such whoever occupies the office is not given a salary or official duties. Many of them prefer to remain very much in the background.  Indeed, the late Denis Thatcher once summed up the role of the ideal prime ministerial spouse as “always present, never there.” This is the ideal.

But operating under the loosely-defined, unconstitutional office of the “First Lady,” Mrs. Jonathan has been bringing the highest office in the land into disrepute since her husband assumed full duties as President in May 2010, by her public conduct. Her behaviour – when there is no reason for it – is leaving many citizens who have had their rights trampled on bitter but helpless.

This is not the practice in civilised societies. The basic requirement of civilised democracy is that everyone plays by the rules and that the rules command public confidence. In October 2011, it was reported that a stunned 27-year-old Indian woman was so agitated that she enquired from David Cameron, who chose to travel in a tube train during rush hour, “Excuse me, are you the Prime Minister?” The Prime Minister was reportedly travelling on the London Underground for an appointment.  The United States’ security services offer maximum protection to Michelle Obama while, at the same time, causing minimal inconvenience to other motorists and citizens. It is as outrageous as it is gravely uncivilised for official cortèges to take pleasure in inflicting pains on the people that such officials claim to be serving.

The itinerary of the First Lady can be smoothly planned without compromising her safety and the convenience of the citizens.  Mrs. Jonathan must recognise that power is ephemeral and should learn from the past occupants of the office who history does not favourably remember because they did incalculable damage to the image of the First Family. Fashola, who, as a governor, does not use sirens in his limited convoy, and does not harass other road users, offers a useful lesson in public morality and decorum. Even with the aura surrounding the office of President of the United States, whenever Barack Obama is visiting any part of America, information is fully circulated to the locality well ahead of time, and locals are given alternative routes that cause minimum inconveniences to use.

It is President Jonathan’s duty to caution his wife to stop this regime of offensive illegality that has tainted the Presidency and presented Nigeria in a bad light.

Source: Punch Newspaper

12 Comments

  • All these she’s doing ℓ̊Ƨ̷̜̩̌̋ just to go n disgrace herself with bad english which she’s known for(on behalf of 20million i hereby donate my family). I dnt blame her, its illiteracy incorporated with lack of exposure dats her problem.

  • May I use this medium to say that this is a pitiable situation and an abuse to the highest public office in the land. She really must be stopped before it gets out of hand because I don’t see how her, been a first lady affects positively the lives of Nigerians so far other than bringing ignominy, gallivanting from state to state and country to country lavishing public funds on clothes, accessories worth millions of naira. She portrays a bad example of a first lady. She should learn from her counterparts in the 1st world, the likes of Michelle Obama, Samantha Cameron or even her own african counterparts of mrs Atta mills, Jeannette Nyiramongi Kagamé of rwanda. They all are very modest in their demeanor. A word is enough for the wise!

  • whats really matter on patience jonathan issue is to surmon her act bcs all is not more than 2015,she made the sacrifise for her husband to be in this post nd she’s moving base on agreement let her enjoy 4yrs like 40yrs.

  • ITS HER TIME, NO BODY IS STOPPING ANY OF UR FAMILY MEMBERS OKAY… SO STOP INSULTING HER INSTEAD THINK OF HOW YOUR OWN LIFE WILL BE BETTER…. FOR THE FACT THAT SHE DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK DIDN’T CONCERN YOU. YOU THAT KNOWS HOW TO USE ALL THE DICTIONARY WORDS IN THIS LIFE … WHERE ARE YOU TODAY…JUST PRAY TO GOD SO THAT YOU WILL REACH AND PASS HER…BUNCH OF FOOLS….

    • christy are u a naigerian if u ar u wont be too hash with ur words i dont know u but its only proper u respect oda ppls opinion its a free word so dont have to insult any body or are u a personal assistant to the 1st lady or do u tink she is going to cal u for standing up for her so pleas u dont have to call ppl names except u have a personal interest on the 1st lady wast is wrong is wrong

    • example of people with the highest offices in other civilized countries were given madam charity. u don’t have to trample on those whom u govern. if these people were not there, i believe she won’t have a people to lead. lead by example plus as the writer rightly said, she wasn’t the elected person nor does the seat have salaries attached to it.

    • Ah! Christy u sick ooo … Omo see english .. Your own worst pass that of the Stupid first Lady own.. Guess won be her PA like other guy said…. Look what is bad is bad …I don’t think u have ever been out of this country before… Mumu Like You

  • same thing happened when she came to makurdi. the wurukum round about was a no go area as it was jammed. i don’t blame her. its only 4 yrs so she wants to use it extravagantly. i thought she said God gave her a second chance to live, so she’ll do good to people now this is the good she’s doing.

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