Former Nigerian first lady, Patience Jonathan, said on Monday that the current investigations into her accounts and activities by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are simply political attacks as a result of the role she played in the 2015 reelection campaign of her husband, Goodluck Jonathan.
The former first lady’s statement which was released by her chief press secretary, Belema Meshack-Hart, attempted to recast her ordeal as “systemic persecution and punishment” for “her unflinching support for her husband during the 2015 elections” and not because of the humongous corruption that has been linked to her.
Quote from statement: “Magu’s EFCC had maliciously linked Mrs. Jonathan to all kinds of fake possessions and properties around the country, including the Local Content Office in Yenagoa which is an arm of NNPC, Shoprite Complex, Nigerian Customs Guest House and Park View Hotel, both in Port Harcourt, as well as the residence of her neighbor who is a serving Senator. It has now come to a point where all the magnificent edifices in Abuja, Yenagoa or Port Harcourt are presented to the media as belonging to Mrs. Patience Jonathan. Not done, they also accuse her of owning several plots of land in many cities across the country, including places she has never visited. The most astonishing of all is that her close relatives are viciously being victimized, as their personal properties are also being investigated.“
Patience Jonathan may have a point with the above if truly the EFCC is bungling the investigations (it won’t be the first time the Commission has been accused of sloppiness.)
She said the EFCC’s actions desecrate “the hallowed and dignified office of the President” and exposes it to public ridicule before the rest of the world. She called on the president to restrain Magu.
“As the elected President, Muhammadu Buhari has become a father to all Nigerians. He should, therefore, resist the snare of those vile advisers who portray him as a sectional and vindictive leader, out to disgrace his predecessors. We implore President Buhari to call Magu and his goons to order so he does not further defile and do more damage to the dignity of the seat of the nation’s President,” the statement said.
Now to two very interesting links which Patience Jonathan attempted to make:
- She said her husband, Goodluck Jonathan, did not target Pres. Buhari’s wife even though the current first lady supported him in all the elections he (Buhari) contested against Jonathan.
- And the big one: She said, “Michelle Obama campaigned vigorously for her husband’s party during their last Presidential election, but we are yet to see President Donald Trump move against her.”
To be clear: Patience Jonathan is no Michelle Obama.
Consider this: According to Forbes, Barack Obama made $10.8 million while in office for eight years. There is a breakdown of how he pulled in that cash (see graphic below). His wife, Michelle Obama, is reportedly worth around $11.8 million (net).
On the other hand, Patience Jonathan claimed a year ago that the $15 million found in accounts linked to her were gifts from well wishers. The money does not include properties she amassed and it isn’t even all of her accounts. Patience Jonathan has not written any book. Her last known job was a permanent secretary in the employment of the Bayelsa State government. Yet she is worth more than Barack and Michelle Obama. That is why it is hard to take her Michelle Obama comparison seriously.
One last takeaway from Mrs. Jonathan’s statement: This quote – “No matter what they do to Mrs. Jonathan, she will continue to stand by her husband, the father of her children, even if it means paying the supreme price with her life.”
Fair enough. However if it turns out that the reverse is the case and it is the former first lady who has done something to us and corruptly enriched herself, the EFCC needs to continue to do its job and make her pay the price.