The first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, on Friday said there was no truth in the allegation that she was pressuring the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan and security agencies to rig the governorship election in the state in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The state governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, had during a town hall meeting on Thursday alleged that the wife of the president was in her hometown, Okrika, to supervise electoral malpractices during the elections.
The governor had said, “The reason for this meeting is to let you know that what happened on the 28th of March, 2015 may or may not repeat itself. Few days ago, I said it would not repeat itself. But as at this morning, there are enormous pressures on the security operatives by the wife of the President.
“There is also enormous pressure on INEC by the wife of the President. I hope that they will not repeat the hijacking of results that we witnessed on March 28. In most of the local government areas, if not all, there were no result sheets. This time around, I hope they will bring the result sheets to the different units. I hope they will not forget the result sheets at the collation centre”.
But the first lady in a statement by the Director of Information in her office, Ihuoma Priscilla, said as an apostle of peace, she could not be involved in act that would hinder peaceful conduct of elections in any part of the country.
The statement read, “The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has dismissed the allegation that she was pressurising the Independent National Electoral Commission (and the Security Agencies to rig April 11 (today’s) elections in Rivers State.
“As an apostle of peace and non-violent elections, the First Lady distances herself from any alleged actions that could hinder successful elections in Nigeria, especially in her home state, Rivers State.
“She countered the insinuations that she was in her hometown, Okrika for the purpose of the governorship election, pointing out that she registered in her husband, President Jonathan’s village, Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
“The First Lady, a highly respected indigene of Okrika in Rivers State visited her hometown on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 to a tumultuous welcome by her kinsmen and women who thronged the streets to welcome and appreciate her wonderful support to her husband, the President and for bringing development to Okrikaland”.