Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan And Critics – By Emeka Oraetoka



On a scale of balance, the last three years of Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan’s first-ladyship a lot of first engendered achievements have been recorded. The most remarkable of all these achievements is no doubt the realization of 35% affirmative action on women in the executive arm of government.

Under the Presidency of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, women are having their fair share of representation in his administration. There is no doubt that Dame Patience Jonathan’s tireless efforts through her Non Governmental Organization [NGO] like Women For Change and Development Initiative, is solely responsible for the realization of this milestone; and the attainment of 35% affirmative action on women is possible under the leadership of Dame Patience Jonathan. It has also been observed that more than fifteen million Nigerian women from all walks of life, both poor and needy have keyed into her various humanitarian projects in Nigeria. Her open door policy in running the office of first lady of the federation has helped to create a good bound between her and the women. Effective and efficient channel of communication between her office and Nigerian women is another factor that has endeared the first lady to women and children in the country.

Armed with these impeccable credentials, it is understandable for sponsored and misguided critics to go to town against the first lady; because as we know in this part of the world, success attracts envy. What is probably amazing to the misguided critics of Dame Patience Jonathan is that her achievements in terms of emancipation of women Nigeria is unparalleled. While other first ladies before her recorded some level of successes in their respective time, Dame Patience took the issue of women emancipation beyond the ordinary. For instance, under her able leadership, and for the first time, 35 percent women representation in executive decision making process has been achieved. Also, in the judicial arm of government 50 percent women representation holds true.

One potent factor that comprehensively shows that Dame Patience Jonathan’s critics are heavily sponsored is the fact that till date no single woman has criticized her daily toils to better the lot of Nigeria women and children; rather, it has always been commendation. Her critics have always been misguided men and there is no suggestion anywhere that Nigeria men are more educated than their women counterparts to warrant that the women cannot write in critique of her as well. Few examples of politically motivated sponsored criticism of Dame Patience Jonathan will suffice here. When the ruling Peoples Democratic Party was searching for replacement for the erstwhile chairman, Alhaji Bamanger Tukur, speculation became rife on the pages of newspapers that the first lady had anointed a candidate, probably to create the impression that she determines what happens in the party, and at the same time cast aspersion on her integrity. It is the believe of this writer that for whatever reason if the first lady had involved herself in who succeeds Bamanga Tukur, she would have opted for a female chairman of PDP in line with her vow to see to the total emancipation of women in Nigeria. Again, when the first lady hosted African first ladies in Abuja, an online media outfit, reputed in blackmailing reported that she bought SUV cars and gave out to the first ladies as gift at the expense of Nigerians which clearly turns out to be mischief of the highest order.

Her enemies practically turn Rivers State as fertile ground to blackmail the first lady each time the struggle for the control of the State becomes intense between the parties involved. Attempt was even made to tarnish her image by insinuating that she sponsors tugs in the State by political opponents working assiduously to discredit the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Many other media have been deployed in the past to discredit her. Tell magazine even devoted its cover page to simply blackmail Nigeria first lady. One wonders who sponsored the magazine in the enterprise.

But if objective analysis is to be made on who among the past and present first ladies in Nigeria has made tremendous effort in bettering the conditions of Nigeria women; what will readily come to minds of Nigerians will be the tireless efforts of Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan’s in seeing that women from all walks of life in Nigeria occupy their pride of place. Today, without doubt, rational Nigerians will tell you that women have truly taken their rightful positions in governance in Nigeria. Even vociferous critics of first lady like Tell Magazine; while embarking on their misguided mischief acknowledged that Dame Patience Jonathan attended to the physically challenged on her visit to Rivers State.

There is no conclusive evidence yet from these sponsored criticisms of Nigeria first lady suggesting that Dame Patience Jonathan’s NGO’s have not been catering for the Nigerian women and children. Clearly, someone or some people somewhere are not comfortable with the cult like follower-ship the first lady enjoys among about 15-20 million Nigeria women. Knowing fully well that through dint of hard work and honest relationship with Nigeria women, Dame Patience Jonathan, can easily seek and mobilize them to support her husband’s aspiration anytime; these desperate “pull him down specialists” may get even more desperate. The possibility of the success of this misguided media persecution of the first lady is zero as it is not issue based.

Emeka Oraetoka

Information Management Consultant & Researcher

Wrote in from Garki-Abuja




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