ENTERS THE ACTING FIRST LADY
Enters the Acting First Lady
By Femi Adeoti
These times are laughable and curious. These time are humorously throwing up a lot of things. Some are dead serious. Others are funny. Still, some others are ridiculously trivial. Very diverting and amusing. That is the costly price we pay for not deliberately doing things right. Strangely enough, we have developed thick skins. Nothing shocks or astonishes us any longer. We easily embrace any situation. That is our greatest strength. And we are so proud of it. We showcase it to whoever cares to look our way. We cherish it so much.
We are a nation of the unusuals. Ours is an abnormal life. And we are not ashamed to live it to the fullest. We take pride in it, we bask in it. We celebrate our absurdity and awkwardness with ignominy. Strange! That was exactly what embarrassingly played itself out in the 'acting' corridors of power the other day. The setting was perfect and comfortable. But the event that unfolded was unpleasant, disgusting and sickening. Very unpresidential
Poor Governor Timipre Sylva. He least bargained for the raw deal he was presented that day. Sylva holds sway in the oil-rich Bayelsa State. One of the hottest spots of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
A state where Acting President Goodluck Jonathan kicked off the display of his unequalled good luck. To become the Acting President. That is a feat anybody would want to be identified with. And Sylva is no exception. The bug caught up with him. So? With all enthusim and high expectation, he headed for Abuja.
He did not go alone. He did not want to be greedy and selfish. He assembled a large entourage. And trust hangers-on and do-gooders. They are readily available.
With drums, horns and tambourines, Sylva led his celebration train to the Acting First Family. He never had any premonition. But he met the brickwall in Dame Patience Jonathan the matriach. Dame had adequately prepared the ground for Sylva and his co-travellers. She did not tell him not to come. That would have denied her the golden opportunity she had been fervently praying for. She put her war strategies into good use. While Sylva was all out for celebration, Dame thought differently. She got ready for the real battle.
The security network of Sylva could not sense any danger. They did not adequately read the situation well. They carelessly made their principal to leisurely walk into the lioness' den. Totally unprepared. Dame and her cohorts were armed to the teeth. Sylva and his men were not. Patience was patient enough to allow Sylva & Co dance into their Akinola Aguda, Abuja, residence. She was gracious to allow him enjoy all the welcome pleasantries. He even had the rare delivery of his prepared speech. Generously and heavily laced with encomiums.
That was how far he could go. The patience in the Dame could not swallow it any longer. Sylva had stretched his luck too far. He was carried away by the make-belief warm reception 'lavishly' accorded him. That agreed with his expectation before he left Bayelsa. He greatly goofed. He loosely erred. Now that he had rashly walked into the trap. A feigned entertainment. It was now the turn of Dame to move. And she did that with all the strength in her.
In the thick of celebration, Sylva put forward a gift to Dame. That was the last straw that broke the camel's back. Patience poured out. She vomited her mind.
She angrily told the governor to keep his gift. She wanted none of that. She then did what she knows how best to do best. She then 'launched into a bitter tirade against Sylva.' Sylva's offence? She accused the governor of working against her husband to become Acting President. That's by extension preventing Dame from making her way to the Office of Acting First Lady.
She refused to be appeased. She would not be calmed down until she was through with Sylva. She was not convinced Sylva was not working against her husband's interest. She persuaded herself that the governor actually connived with the so-called Yar'Adua cabal. All in a bid to scuttle Goodluck's Acting Presidency. The Dame was in worst impatient form. She yelled. She shouted. She spit. She hissed. She raked. She barked and almost bite.
Sylva was lost. He was panting. He had been reduced to nothing. His pleas could not stop the tirade. She did not want to give him a chance for plea bargaining.
The situation became unbearable for Sylva. He lost out on all fronts. He could not be heard. He could not be listened to. He was denied practically everything called right of reply. He was on his own.
Unannounced, the governor opted for the best option at that moment. He had no other viable choice. He silently withdrew with his drums and tambourines. Yet, Patience was not satisfied. And refused to be pacified. Quite unlike her loving husband, she lives the exact opposite life of her beautiful name - Patience.
On the other hand, patience has been the watchword of her husband. And it paid off handsomely. That is why he corners at ease, all these good lucks in an alarming rate. Perhaps, Sylva should be blamed after all. He dared the Acting First Family. They had told us to put on hold all solidarity messages in whatever form or manner. Whether by physical visit or advert, print or broadcast. They don't want to be distracted. They don't want to lose focus.
But Sylva was headstrong. He stubbornly ignored this advice to his own peril. He thought he could have his way so easily. He almost paid dearly for it. He was rejected and neglected. He was humiliated in the very presence of his lieutenants and aides.
Dame shameful threw caution to the wind. She recklessly dressed down a sitting governor. That was unbecoming of an Acting First Lady.
For God's sake, Sylva is a governor. The Chief Executive and Chief Security Officer of a state. Dame is not. Her position has no locus standi in the Constitution. She has no visible place in this dispensation. She remains a citizen like the rest of us. All the same, we are glad she came out the ferocious way she did. She only confirmed our terrible fears. We agree she is made of hard stuff. But we are sad, she is deploying and displaying it the wrong way.
She glaringly went more than the extra mile with Sylva. She carried her arrogance too far for our liking. We may not be that patient to tolerate such impatience from her in the nearest future. That was her first 'official' outing as Acting First. What a disaster.Very sad and disheartening. What, a sore and sour note to begin a tenure! Sylva must be rescued from this ridicule. Soonest. And publicly too.