Posted by News Express | 28 December 2015 | 3,134 times
I am a fan of our former First Lady Dame Patience Faka Jonathan, former President of the all-powerful Wives of African Presidents and Prime Ministers Association [WAPPA] [my own coinage] former Permanent Secretary in the state of Bayelsa, and former Chairperson and Matron of uncountable NGOs and of course the one and only publicly paraded, publicly quoted wife of our own amiable former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Two years ago I announced on the pages of the City People Magazine that I was in love with Dame Patience Jonathan. There were no pretences about my declaration. I followed it up with reasons for my falling in love. It was the aftermath of her public declaration that she was indeed ill and that she almost passed out on a number of occasions. She gave a public lie to all the lies and cover-ups of the officialdom which claimed that she was hale and hearty while she was in fact on routine visits to surgical theatre where, according to her courageous account, she had been opened up more than 13 times!
Yes I fell in love knowing fully well that falling in love does not constitute an offence; it is the next steps you take after falling in love that can reward you with an amorous intimacy or earn you a dirty slap or in the extreme, a jail term! And I was certain the then President would not bother to send the police to my house.
I thought I should leave matters of economics, the economy, politics and governance out of my way today and give heart its own delight this Sunday. The Christmas moments have passed and the New Year is knocking at the gate, and yet no major events to crack our ribs with laughter, no theatricalities, no unusual movements in the Seat of power.
I miss our Dame, full of humour and predictable ‘unpredictabilities’. A lady of unequalled energy and noticeable presence, Dame Patience is not one that can be ignored in any gathering. Full of witticisms and spontaneity, Madam Jonathan is ever so quick to respond to any eventuality. Her answers are always on her finger tips. If you dare cross her path, you are on your own.
Mrs Jonathan is not a pretender. She does not care for the so-called ‘political correctness’. She calls a spade a spade and you can go to hell if you do not like her characteristic bluntness. The good thing about Dame Jonathan is that you know where you stand with her or where she stands with you. She is not given to deceit or double-speak or back biting. And she is bold!
You may begin to wonder why I miss her and why I believe she should occupy my column today as my veritable guest. Madam Patience is like no other one in public glare. She does not care for Lexis and Structure when it comes to English grammar. And who cares? Who should bother about a language that is not straightforward?
Dame Jonathan is a very straightforward person. So if English language that is full of contradictions and confusions decides to confront Dame, she has every right to damn it. A language that has sat as past tense of sit and chooses to have leaked instead of lack as past tense of leak, has boxes as plural of box and has oxen as plural for ox, boots as plural for boot and feet as plural for foot, teeth for tooth and not beeth for booth, men for man and pans for pan is not a subject a straightforward Madam like our Patience would have patience for.
Madam Patience loves her husband. She is famously very passionate about her man. And because of such a rare quality in most women critics always find fault in her complete protection of her husband’s issues. Patience would do battle with any one that dared to ridicule her husband. And I found in her a woman who would rather sink with her man than jump boat.
She could be theatrical and sometimes tries to compete with Baba Sala, Aluwe, or James Iroha [by the way James was my classmate at the University of Ibadan 50 years ago], she is nonetheless a very practical and admirable persona. You can’t but love and appreciate her act. She is a huge delight in her broken English; “na you alone waka come?” remains the greatest quote of the Century.
Because she spent endless time in German hospitals she fancied herself as a neuro-surgeon and she was quick to pronounce a clinical verdict on Buhari’s state of health during the presidential campaigns. ‘Buhari is brain dead!’, her medical feat proclaimed.
Some idiots spread the rumour that she was in control of her husband and that she indeed flogs him on occasion. Wicked graveyard humour! This rumour has no truth whatsoever and those that are close to the couple say that she holds her husband in the highest esteem. ‘She literally worships him’, a source volunteered.
I am sure I am not the only one that misses Dame Jonathan. The powerful quartet of Long-legged Uteh, Powder-face Oduah, and Scarecrow dazed dizzy Dizeani and Olosuka cherubic- cheeks Okonjo will never forget Possessive Patience. There is an English word called competition!
The ubiquitous WAPPA must be missing her and her largess. Wives of African Presidents and Prime Ministers would no longer get escorted back to their home countries with loads of dollars and Prado Jeeps to boot. I doubt if the organization of the heavily powdered Behind-the-Scene power brokers is still in existence. And if at all it still is, its existence must be in its shadows. Dame Jonathan gave the Organization the milk of life, its vibrancy and relevance.
There is no longer a First Lady to publicly snatch the microphone from a sitting Governor, or to call a State Commissioner of Police ‘my boy’! There is no longer a Madam Faka Patience whose order was law and whose sneeze made IGP, Chief of Defence Staff and National Security Adviser shiver! Really and truly Nigeria misses Dame Patience Faka Jonathan.
History and posterity will certainly be fair and kind to Dame Jonathan. Here is a woman who came, saw and conquered. That her husband lost a most coveted second term as President did not diminish her place in the Hall of the Triumphant. She saw her husband through his glories as Teacher, Deputy Governor, Acting Governor, Governor of oil-rich state, Vice President, Acting President, and ultimately President of the largest oil producing country in Africa and the man who sat on the largest treasury in the continent.
Dame Jonathan is a fighter and a very courageous one too. She is not one to be scared by anybody and throughout her life in the bedroom of power she refused to be defined by outside forces or opinions. Like all great women in history she knows her own mind and allows herself to be ruled by own intuitions. She understands the language, if not the mathematics of power.
Although our Dame was never voted for, she proved to the world while it lasted that the man who had the vote was her second half. Without a half, a whole cannot be completed. She, Dame Jonathan, completed that whole.
Dame Jonathan remains constant and consistent by the side of her man.
If and when I get invited to Otuoke, I will not go alone for fear of being confronted with that booming voice: Na you alone waka come??
•Chief Tola Adeniyi (shown in photo), a former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria, is Executive Chairman, The Knowledge Plaza and Founder Global Intelligentsia for Buhari. He can be reached via can be reached via email@example.com
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