Amaechi's suspension: First lady denies interest
The first lady,Dame Patience Jonathan, yesterday, denied playing any role in the suspension of the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the First Lady on Media and Publicity, Ayo Osinlu said the allegation was 'not only dubious, but also diversionary, unfair, unkind, and therefore totally unacceptable'.
According to him, Mrs. Jonathan was not an official of the PDP and as such could not have led 'the elders of the party by the nose' to take such a decision.
'It has again come to our notice that a new twist has been introduced to the carefully orchestrated scheme to anchor the political fortunes or survival of certain embattled politicians on a deliberate demonisation of the First Lady, Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan.
'This new twist came by way of a so-called 'investigation' reported on the front page of a national daily, yesterday.
'According to the report, the First Lady, as characteristic these days, is being alleged to have influenced the suspension of Governor Rotimi Amaechi from PDP by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.
'We consider it laughable that it can be assumed by any sane person that the First Lady could possibly 'summon' the members of the NWC of the party for the purported purpose of handing down 'stern directives' on crucial party decisions.
'We ask, on what platform? Within what contexts? In what capacity? Is it not an unfortunate insult on all the elders that constitute the NWC to insinuate that they were assembled by the First Lady, or anyone else for that matter, and instructed on positions of the party? And why couldn't newspaper's 'investigators' name at least a few of those in attendance of this famous meeting?
'We consider it a most unbecoming insolence, to say the least DISRESPECTFUL, of any one to suggest that the whole of PDP was led by the nose and influenced by a private interest, in a matter that so evidently borders on party discipline and administration.
'Only recently, we were compelled to make a statement, warning those who have become specialists in looping their self-induced political travails around the First Lady, to develop another strategy for their survival.
'This was when another vicious lie was circulated that Her Excellency had, again, 'summoned' service chiefs in Rivers State, and instructed them to be firmer in handling the Rivers matter.
'Let us state once again, that the First Lady is not an elected official of state, neither is she a party functionary. She therefore recognises very clearly her place in the scheme of things and acts always accordingly within context.
'In safe estimation, the whole of this is a conscious calculation to sustain the issue of Governor Amaechi in full public view, as well as to explore the possibility of keeping public sympathy in his favour.
'While we have no challenges with the Amaechi camp struggling for political survival and relevance, we wish to state categorically our strong objection to the wicked use of the name and profile of the First Lady in the process.
'For us this is not only dubious, but also diversionary, unfair, unkind, and therefore totally unacceptable.
'We wish to warn that if this trend continues in the near and distant future, we may be constrained to take action within legally permissible limits to protect the integrity of the office and person of the First Lady.'