A New Patience Jonathan? By Sonala Olumhense

Dame Patience Jonathan
Columnist: 
Sonala Olumhense

In the interest of full disclosure, let me first recall that I have inconvenienced the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, in the past.  

I commented on two incidents in 2006 when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it had twice seized vast funds from her: the first the sum of N104 million; and the second, $13.5 million.

Mrs. Jonathan did not like my writing about this subject, and as she became one of the world’s most powerful women, she took out an advertorial in the Nigerian press, threatening to sue me.  

Last Sunday, Mrs. Jonathan was not breathing fire.  At a thanksgiving church service, reports say she testified to the fragility of the human body, telling worshippers of her near-death experience in the months of September and October 2012.

During that time, it was common knowledge that she was out of the country, but the seat of federal power at her husband’s command did not say where she was.  It was widely reported she was in poor health, but the presidency provided no official confirmation.   Whatever appeared in the press about the First Lady was met with denials and rebuttals.  

Mrs. Jonathan returned to Nigeria in the middle of October, having been away for about six weeks.  As soon as she set foot on Nigerian soil, she tried to fortify those denials.  She was never ill, she said, had never heard of the hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany, to which intrepid Citizen Reporters had traced her.  She had never had surgery.

Then came last Sunday, February 17, 2013, when she painted with her own tongue a harrowing picture of sickness, agony, and confrontation with death.  She had indeed had eight or nine surgeries in one month, Mrs. Jonathan said, and spent seven days in what sounded like a coma.  At a point, her condition was so bad that her expensive doctors even gave up on her.

“It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria,” she said.  “God woke me up after seven days.”

Every Christian knows that you do not wield the name of God in vain.  When she said that God restored her to life, you could hear a collective “Amen!” sweep through Nigeria.

I want Mrs. Jonathan to know that I was responsible for one of those Amens, and many before then.  Her life is sacred before God and before man, and nobody has any right to challenge it.  

A new kind of clarity seems to have visited Mrs. Jonathan lately because in her testimony in that church, she demonstrated an unexpected perspective of time and chance.  “I will [from now on] be doing things that will touch the lives of the less privileged,” she said.  “God gave me a second chance because I reached there [that is, actually died]. He knew I had not completed the assignments He gave me that was why I was sent back.”

I welcome Mrs. Jonathan back, with joy, from the Pearly Gates, and thank her for the recognition she has accorded to God for her good fortune.  
Now what?

The First Lady followed up her appearance at the Aso Rock Chapel with a celebration of epic proportions valued at half a billion Naira, attended by the nation’s high and mighty.

The question is how she implements her pledge to do things to improve the lives of the less-privileged, for which she considers her life on earth has been extended.  Nigeria is a land of hypocrites; a country where the less-privileged people are despised.   My experience as a journalist and commentator in the last 30 years has convinced me of a certain wickedness of heart in Nigeria’s rich and powerful.

Perhaps because most of the wealth and power is often stolen, begged or borrowed, those who have it seem to hold in contempt those who are not as ruthless.  Their lifestyle becomes one of lying, cheating and stealing, and the people they exploit the most are the less-privileged.

Perhaps this is Mrs. Jonathan’s mission: to bridge the gap between those who have and those who lack; between those who are overfed and those who are starving; between those who are dying and those who do not need to die.

Last Sunday morning, Mrs. Jonathan threw shame to the winds and talked candidly about her life-changing ordeal, of doctors giving up apparently because she was thought to be beyond help.  Perhaps it is Mrs. Jonathan’s destiny now to remind Nigeria that there are thousands of people every day who need help for a variety of conditions, from hunger to health.  

Why?  The answer is that Nigeria is the greediest nation on earth.  Add that greed to our corruption and it is easy to see why economic plans and budgets and public projects are never implemented.  That is why we lack roads and hospitals and good schools.  Rather than build roads, we buy jets.  Rather than build hospitals, we go to Europe.  

That is why we put merit next, not first.  That is why we worship the wealthy, not the just.  We honour the looters and ignore the diligent.  We praise the loud not the humble.  We ignore the planting season, and wait for the harvest.

That is how shame of being labeled the “less-privileged,” which in Nigeria means “disposable,” has arisen.  It is fascinating that these are the elements Mrs. Jonathan now says she wants to help.

I can assure Mrs. Jonathan, at the risk of being sued, that I do not believe her.  When she and her husband left Bayelsa State, it was with a lot of allegations, and events since then have not improved their image.  Reporting on the April 2007 election, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York referred to Mrs. Jonathan as the “greediest person in Bayelsa State,” and a woman of great cruelty. In June 2006, NIDDEMCOW, the Niger Development Monitoring and Corporate Watch, begged the EFCC to publish its report on Mrs. Jonathan.  The Commission did not.  

Add to those concerns Mrs. Jonathan’s money-laundering encounters with the EFCC which have never been transparently discharged, and it is clear her new pledge will come under exceedingly close monitoring.  

But even in an era of heavy political posturing and false promises, she deserves a chance to prove that she is serious.  Where political office-holders have failed, there are a thousand ways she can leave behind a special reputation as an achiever.  She can provide a lifeline to millions of Nigerian women and children who have no access to fancy hospitals; or access to education, technical training; she can disburse opportunity by the trailer load.
And if she wants help in this direction, it is right there in the thousands of top Nigerians who were at her party at the weekend.  

Yet we must be clear: if Mrs. Jonathan truly wants to bless Nigeria with her second crack at relevance, she must remember that the constitution does not recognize her office as a legal person.  Motivated by the engine of her gratitude to God, she must deploy the power of her will and her own imagination and hands.

If she proves to be genuine, this I promise: whatever I am, and my own two hands.  
•    sonala.olumhense

Comments
32 comment(s)
Post a comment

DERI ADMITS TO BEING A PRESIDENCY AGENT

At last we now have a confirmation of what we've been saying for years that DERI is a turncoat, an enemy of Nigerians, a retrogressive minded person, just like the rest of them in Jonny-go-slow;s government. If you doubt what you've just read, here is Deri's confession.

"Paid clowns
Submitted by DERI (not verified) on February 25, 2013 - 00:04.

I know I am paid by the presidency, but you are paid by Buhari too. If I am a dog, you are a cow!"

LET US THINK WELL

What this guy is saying here, is a matter worth considering. .. for me, it does not really matter what had happen in the past, but what is happening now….Every Nigerian should learn to judge himself or herself at any instance..bcos if it is left for others to judge, heads will roll….let NIGERIANS not be giving the political elite of this nation (NO MATTER WHERE HE/SHE COMES FROM) opportunities of continuing in the selfish approach towards the nation’s wealth etc….. They know it, that if we continue in our arguments, we’ll never come together, and they will ever continue exploring that fact, until we come 2gether as one nation to battle this worms, other than this we will always be pouring water on a duck back.

Ask Buhari to show us where

Ask Buhari to show us where he kept Tai Solarin-Pa Ajasin-late Gani whom he encouraged Abacha to lock up in Bauchi for over 10 months-that Buhari of yours has no moral right to vie for election in Nigeria. The Hitler of 9ja who hates ppl of d SS and Yourbas like hell-

Deri & Buhari's wife?

The worst thing that can happen to any man is to be confused in life. Confusion and foolishness are not mutually exclusive as they both occur side by side. I pity Deri, his likes and their children. Hate Buhari as you like, your GEJ can never match him in any way other than looting government fund. Be reminded that GEJ has spent more time at Aso Rock than Buhari was in Power. Talk about his score card instead of Buhari's wife who is already dead.

Please permit me to ask one

Please permit me to ask one question if you may. Have you seen any Nigerian seeking for others? No nigerian , especially politrickcian thinks of others but him or herself.So wake p Bros. Even you you you you cannothit your chest that you are not seeking for yourself. El-rufai , Abati, Tinubu, Joe Ibokwe, except late Gani the sage are real nigerians who only thought of the well being of nigerians at his own peril. Even Awo cannot be said to have done so.

RE: We talk too much...

@ Action, true, true, we talk too much in this country. What's my business with the hippopotamus Patience Lazarine Jonathan? Did I elect her into any office? What right has she to spend one kobo of my tax?

I mean, this is simply madness. But time is coming...

Paid clowns

I know I am paid by the presidency, but you are paid by Buhari too. If I am a dog, you are a cow!

buhari to dance with wife at eagle square-2 dan maria goje music

Buhari is certainly no presidential material as edo state born Sonala who goes about manufacturing lies to suit his personal ambition want us to belive simply because-he wants to become d press sec to a despot like buhari-if that be his only ambition I pray not to be part of it--Marcus garvey once said fool like sonala who think they know more than anyone else, can only survive with the help of drug barons like tinubu-he went on to say the last critic is the biggest fool of all thinking the world starts and ends with them-Some are buying into his lies-cause he is paid to produce articles that they think can move mountains towards buhari-Unaware buhari will never win elections in 9ja--opportunity comes but once-buhari has had his-period--so all we ask from buhari is to bring his wife out for us to see-or else tell us why he divorced his wife while in benin prison

We Talk too much

When will enough be enough? When will you and I see that all we do is talk and not act? It is so sad that while recent revolutions have used social media as a vital tool, we in Nigeria have used it to "just talk".
We should stop this talking, because these oppressors are acting and to stop them we must act now.

Monkey na monkey, if you like

Monkey na monkey, if you like carry-am go London, E go still climb tree. Worwor the worwor!

SONALA BUT YOU SAID AMEN!! TO THE 1ST LADY

SONALA YOU SAID: When she said that God restored her to life, you could hear a collective “Amen!” sweep through Nigeria. I want Mrs. Jonathan to know that I was responsible for one of those Amens, and many before then. Her life is sacred before God and before man, and nobody has any right to challenge it.

Your article should then have asked the First Lady how she was going to help the less privileged or put forward suggestions on how she can help the less privileged. You yourself admitted saying an "Amen" to her testimony. You don't say, "Amen and in the same breath criticise the testifier!!?? Did you know what you were writing?

Deri - the real me

nigerians forgive me, i also travelled last year for a brain tansplant. worst thing? they gave me a sheep brain instead of washing mine and the process is irreversible. whaterver i have to say, i'll say thru reuben abati-alapa, doyin okugbe or reno o-mockery. we're all pursuing the same goals - 'aa saa jeun' and we'll shortly become yesterday's men soon.......

For Real?

So Madam Pai,tell me what then are you going to do with the Nitel building (near FCDA) that you bought from AA Oil for 36 whopping billions? Sell it and share the proceeds to charity? What of your posh and elegant farm on airport road? What of, what of, what of? No wonder your friends started selling your stuff;you of course didn't have the guts to buy in your name but in their names, so why complain?... Deri is actually Dirty, but just trying to pronounce his name in American(Naija) English!

@Deri

When will you ever take on any issue head-on without beating about the bush? You cannot just keep representing the worst of Nigeria Delta as the most intellectually lazy man from that region. Slolana, in his columns has always made cases against the ills of those in government in the most comprehensive way anybody could ever imagine. Sadly enough, Deri in his response to Solana has always proved that he's a stranger to English comprehension. Stop making a fool of yourself and those you claim to support.

COMPASSION IS IMPOSSIBLE IN A SEA OF INHUMANITY AND WICKEDNESS.

I do not expect any change from the First Lady who spent half a billion Naira on a thanksgiving party and who is also hell-bent on spending more than 4 billion Naira on an avoidable "wasteful edifice" project despite the cries of the suffering masses for the funds to be redirected to projects which will be of benefit to the impoverished masses.
The whole system is based on selfishness,wickedness and heartlessness,the Legislators lead by Mark and Tambuwal remain the highest paid on planet earth,retired pensioners have their funds stolen and often die while waiting to get paid,women and children die of curable diseases,50 police recruits share 1 fish as these inhumane monsters get on with the business of looting and plundering.
Anybody expecting change from the First Lady is asking for a miracle but the days of miracles are truly gone.

COMPASSION IS IMPOSSIBLE IN A SEA OF INHUMANITY AND WICKEDNESS.

I do not expect any change from the First Lady who spent half a billion Naira on a thanksgiving party and who is also hell-bent on spending more than 4 billion Naira on an avoidable "wasteful edifice" project despite the cries of the suffering masses for the funds to be redirected to projects which will be of benefit to the impoverished masses.
The whole system is based on selfishness,wickedness and heartlessness,the Legislators lead by Mark and Tambuwal remain the highest paid on planet earth,retired pensioners have their funds stolen and often die while waiting to get paid,women and children die of curable diseases,50 police recruits share 1 fish as these inhumane monsters get on with the business of looting and plundering.
Anybody expecting change from the First Lady is asking for a miracle but the days of miracles are truly gone.

Hippopotamus Patience

I don't blame Patience at all, but his clueless husband GEJ. 4 Billion naira can do a lot for Nigerians. Set up a state-of-the-art hospital in one village, Nodel University and Polytechnic in another two villages, and an a Mega Inducstrial Park in yet another village. This will then open up these villages and Nigeria, and provide plenty jobs for young and old in Nigeria, and yet this will generate income for Nigeria. But why is the man not reasoning?

foolish deri

You are nothing but an aso rock dog. People like u should be executed.

DERI IS A SYNONYM FOR SELF DESTRUCTION.

A friend that sides me all the time is a stooge & does not have my best interest. The corrupt Nigerian Government have inserted paid online trawls with the name 'DERI' to go through articles that show spotlight on Nigeria's plundering political death squads.

DERI please wake up and think about your life. dont be paranoid and remember that the most difficult thing to say or do is to say the truth and be honourable.Help your unborn grand children reclaim a country that they will be proud of as we are only as good as a nation, if we plan for our future. Nigeria is maddeningly corrupt and this corruption is in all tribes and it would be honourable if a faceless sect of paid agents can have the balls to resign from their paid jobs of deceit. But the truth is  they aint got balls, aint got honour and most importantly they wouldnt get paid. come on deri, insult me, give me your best shot

culture of secrecy

thanks to God for bringing her back. just that i really dont understand wot dis culture of secrecy is all about. every time a public official is sick in nigeria, no one wants to declare their whereabout and i keep on wondering why dis has to persist. while in the developed world, the health condition of their public servant is usually made public. after all it is just normal and human to fall sick. patience jonathan returned in october to deny the fact that she was ever operated upon, alongside all other presidential sources. but last week, she antithetically confirmed to us what some of us had earlier known. where will dis culture of secrecy lead us to as a country???

THE PENAL-BEATING OF A CATERPILLAR!

What then is fruitful in marrying a woman older than a husband? In some societies a woman marries after spending all her life sleeping and romancing different types of men. Probably when she reached 40 years of age. In a typical African society a girl of 20 years of age is old to be married. But by the arrival of a Whiteman on the savages' I communities he introduced his culture of enjoying the fruitfulness of woman at young age out of marriage,into those societies. Even though Whiteman lived long without embracing any religion except one that suited his ways of life. When Christianity came to him he realized that nothing in it had hampered his lifestyle:he would drink whatever he likes,he would have fornication,etc,.

Sonala u don come again with your lies

Suspected Boko Haram sect members last night shot dead five persons they found playing cards in Gombe, Gombe State. Several others were also seriously injured. Aside from the five that were confirmed dead, ten victims are reportedly in critical condition from bullet pellets that pieced their bodies. A security source told SaharaReporters that doctors in area hospitals were currently battling to save the lives of the injured. Anoda i wrote a piece in support of late Chief Gani in 2007 when he contested against Yara Adua! Liar!

from edo state with love from sonala ati buhari

(Suspected Boko Haram sect members last night shot dead five persons they found playing cards in Gombe, Gombe State. Several others were also seriously injured. Aside from the five that were confirmed dead, ten victims are reportedly in critical condition from bullet pellets that pieced their bodies. A security source told SaharaReporters) RIBADU had told his audience severally that he never investigated the wife of the president-but sonala would not have any of it-Sonala is believed to have jetted out of the 9ja in search of greener pastures long b4 gej became president-So why blame GEJ over the reasons why himself, Pius and Okey sneaked out of 9ja? Patriots like Ruiben Abati made it cause they stayed behind to help salvage 9ja!

Sadly this is what concerns Nigerians not d look of d 1st lady

(Suspected Boko Haram sect members last night shot dead five persons they found playing cards in Gombe, Gombe State. Several others were also seriously injured. Aside from the five that were confirmed dead, ten victims are reportedly in critical condition from bullet pellets that pieced their bodies. A security source told SaharaReporters!) Sadly this is what concerns Nigerians at the moment-the ongoing murders in the Fulani North by boko haram-and not the looks on the face of Madam Jonah-in the developed economies of the world-they help to enhance the status of the first lady-regardless-Not in 9ja where we have pathological liars like Sonala hide themselves under the smelly agbada of regional thieves like tinubu-and head of the terrorist group-buhari to sing a song of fools in d SS where he hails from!

Believe Dame Patie at your peril!

Sonala, I thank you for this insight into Dame Patie. I am happy you stated you do not believe her to do anything positive for the less privileged. The first opportunity she had to showcase that resolve has been fluffed. What do you call her quest and insistence to be handed N4 BILLION of Nigeria's money for a useless project called "Mission House"?

I have seen the prototype of the so-called house on SR. It mirrors structure-wise, one of the best super specialty hospitals in India called BLK SUPER SPECIALTY HOSPITAL, NEW DELHI. Are Nigerians aware that this N4 billion could be used to establish and equip a hospital of the same comparable standard in Yenogoa (not Abuja) and as well as offer subsidized medical treatment to hundreds of thousands of men, women and children throughout Nigeria? Do you know how many lives, just as hers, would be saved thereby?

Lazarus Patience Jonathan

You are right we do not believe anything these thieving, heartless people tell us, they are liars, like they say a 'lepard cannot change its spots'

Good Governance Cancels out Hypocritical Promises

She is a mere housewife. Nigeria needs good governance. With good governance Patience is irrelevant. End of.

The New Mother Theresa

She don comeback from yonder,shout haleluya somebody!

Now she wan turn mother Theresa wey me no think possible,she must need do 3 things make people know say she serious.

1. Make she use N66,000,000 from the African 1. Ladies Big House go the 1,2,3, biggest towns in each political zone and build a 20 storied 4 flats, 4rooms apartments @ each floor give poor people free.

2.Force husband do the same with money from the African Big Men Chop Chop House wey e wan build for Abuja.

3. Use the thief thief money wey EFCC catch am wey she still hol build and equip 2 Wiesbaden hospital like replicas in Kano & Para Court.

Facts-filled writeup

Facts-filled writeup

Olumhense, i have had cause

Olumhense, i have had cause to read ur popular comments on the Nigerian elites and i hav always congratulated your fearless write-ups This goes to show that you are a great believer in the true Nigerian state. I have never believed Patience Jonathan and will never believe her 'cos she is only seeking for herself and not for the less previleged and unfortunate nigerians she claim to champion their cause. The wicked shall never go unpunished.

Post a comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Comments are limited to a maximum of 1000 characters.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <p> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.