Mrs. Patience Jonathan has said that the refusal of senior officials of the Rivers State Government to pay her a condolence visit when she lost her foster mother was the reason why she shunned the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Tele Ikuru, at the Port Harcourt airport.
She said despite the fact that several groups and individuals from across the country came to commiserate with her, she did not receive any delegation from Rivers State.
Mrs. Jonathan said this in a statement by her spokesman, Mrs. Ayo Adesugba.
She was reacting to media reports that she snubbed Ikuru, when she arrived at the Port Harcourt airport on Sunday.
The President’s wife said she decided to make her visit to the state as quiet as possible so as not to give room for those who she described as mischief makers to succeed in their plans of involving her in the political intrigues in the state.
She said since the wife of the state governor ordinarily receives her whenever she visits any state, that was why the wife of Bayelsa State governor came to Port Harcourt from Yenagoa to receive her.
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to reports in some media claiming that the First Lady, Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan snubbed the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, who was said to have gone to the Port Harcourt International Airport to receive her.
“The reports, by all indications, represent a contrived motive of some gladiators in the Rivers State crisis to continue to paint the First Lady as an aggressor.
“It should be clear to all that for quite some time now, the First Lady has refrained from commenting on issues relating to the Rivers State crisis while these gladiators have continued to use every media at their disposal to fan the embers of disharmony and hatred.
“It is for this reason of the intrigue at play that the First Lady would want to be left out of Rivers State crisis, hence making her visit to the state as quiet as possible, so as not to give room for mischief makers to succeed in their plans.
“Ordinarily, the wife of the state governor receives the first lady whenever she visits any state. That is why the wife of Bayelsa State Governor travelled from Yenagoa to receive the First Lady.”
“In addition, as a daughter of Rivers state, the First Lady is free to visit the state any time she desires. But we are forced to ask: why the presence of the First Lady in Rivers State always generate rumpus?
“It should be noted that while several groups and individuals from across the country came to condole the First Lady and Mr. President on the death of her mother, no official of Rivers State government deemed it fit to pay the first family condolence visit, yet they claimed the First Lady is a daughter of Rivers State.
“He who must go to equity must go with clean hands. They should learn to give respect to those who deserve respect so that they too can earn respect.”