It was no surprise that First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan relished the emergence of her husband as the sole Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. She is a well-bred, loyal woman who had to be the natural runner up in joy at an occasion where her husband was the celebrant. But Patience is more than a nominal partner.
She is the politician’s dream wife. She loves her husband fiercely and makes no pretence about it. She dares to fix things for him whenever she can.
When her husband’s enemies rear up, she attacks them like an Amazon. When there are viable candidates who are sympathetic to the cause of her husband in key states, she invites them to Abuja and anoints them. And when the harvest of votes is ripe, she tours the country, sharing truckloads of ‘empowerment’ rice- in the same proportion that Boko Haram is sharing blood.
She beamed with Instagram-worthy smiles when Chairman Adamu Muazu presented President Goodluck Jonathan as the standard bearer of the party in next year’s Presidential polls.
She knew full well that securing the ticket of PDP, the largest party in all of Africa, placed her husband in pole position to score a landslide win. It was now near certainty that her husband would be re-elected and her First Lady days extended.
The ubiquitous structure of PDP guarantees that they can go into the election with more buoyancy than anxiety. The only unknown factor in the equation would be the margin of victory.
But the road to this presumptive coronation could have been less easy than it turned out to be.
Two Presidential hopefuls had paid the prescribed fees for the Presidential nomination forms and obtained receipts. Later, they began to make some fuss about being scammed. That they were lured to spend 22 million each on goods that did not exist. The party had printed only one customized nomination form for the President.
But the knotty issue self-destructed in a mysterious Wadata Plaza way. And what would have been a fascinating collision of three eggheads, Prof. Akasuba Duke-Abiola, Dr AbdulJhalil Tafawa-Balewa and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was averted. So President Goodluck Jonathan walked alone.
And Patience Jonathan grinned from ear to ear – in sharp contrast to her agitated reaction to another person’s lonesome walk.
The First Lady had convened a meeting of stakeholders to deliberate on the fate of over 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from their school in Chibok. The principal, Mrs. Asabe Kwambura, committed the blunder of coming unaccompanied. Apparently, the principal had not been close enough to the corridors of power to know that people who take themselves seriously move with some entourage. And the poor principal made no effort to explain that her career in school administration had not given her any opportunity to learn that vital lesson.
So Madam took umbrage. She looked at her pointedly and served her a ghost Permanent Secretary-class query. She asked her,’’ Principal…na only you waka come?’’ And the First Lady’s tears began to cascade afterwards.
That PDP special convention highlight was a moment of delight.
It so absorbed the First Lady in excitement that she forgot to ask PDP’s sole Presidential candidate, the all important question.
She could have leaned forward and whispered in the ears of President Jonathan. ‘’My husband, na only you waka come?’’
Emmanuel Uchenna Ugwu
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