The President’s wife, Dame Patience Jonathan has not been seen in
public since her husband lost his re-election bid in the March 28
presidential election. Good news – the Presidency has now broken its
silence on her whereabouts.
According to the media assistant to Mrs. Jonathan, Mr. Ayo Adewuyi,
in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, the President’s
wife is currently in Congo.
He said Mrs. Jonathan was in the country to join her colleagues from
Africa for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of a
non-governmental organisation, Congo Assistance Foundation, floated by
Congolese First Lady, Madam Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso.
Adewuyi however did not indicate when Mrs. Jonathan arrived Congo or
when she is expected back in Nigeria. He only said his principal was
received on arrival by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Congo Brazzaville,
Princess Onipede, in company of top Congolese officials.
Dame Patience was conspicuously absent during the Good Friday and
Easter Sunday services held inside the Aso Villa Chapel. She did not
also join her husband for the funeral service held in honour of his top
aide, Oronto Douglas, in Yenagoa last Saturday.
While she voted alongside her husband in the presidential election
in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, she stayed back in her home state, Rivers,
during the April 11 governorship election.
She had expressed fears ahead of the elections that she would be thrown into prison if Muhammadu Buhari wins the election.
The Presidency had so far kept mute on her whereabouts, therefore, giving room for speculation.
Adewuyi’s statement read:
“First Lady, Dame Patience Faka
Jonathan, is in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, joining other African
First Ladies for the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Congo
Assistance Foundation, an NGO of Congolese First Lady, Madam Antoinette
The Foundation established in 1984 has
engendered social action in the areas of health, education, skills
acquisition in favour of indigent people of Congo.
Dame Patience Jonathan runs similar
organisation in Nigeria, the Aruera Reach-out Foundation which also
focuses on the uplift of women and children, the needy and imprisoned.
The First Ladies of Benin Republic,
Senegal, Mali, Tchad, Niger, Guinea Conakry are also in Brazzaville for
the grand finale of the week-long programmes, during which a National
Centre for Sickle Cell Disease was inaugurated.
Dame Patience Jonathan was received on
arrival by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Congo Brazzaville, Princess Onipede,
in company of top Congolese officials.”