- Category: Politics
- Published on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 08:39
- Written by The Nation
- Hits: 3029
THE First Lady’s two-day visit to Rivers State ended in a fiasco Tuesday. All was well, until Dame Patience Jonathan and her chief host, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi got to Okrika – the First Lady’s home town.
The governor was explaining by video his school project in Okrika, saying there must be demolition of some buildings to have space for the schools. Mrs Jonathan cut in, grabbed the microphone and said the governor should reconsider the way he was going about the demolition.
An attempt by Amaechi to explain the situation sent the First Lady boiling. She shouted at Amaechi: "Listen!, you must listen to me!" The governor was embarrassed, like a scolded school pupil. The audience hailed Mrs Jonathan, goading the First Lady on.
The President’s wife, however, described land as a serious issue in Okrika and told Amaechi to always avoid "must" when talking about waterfronts’ demolition.
The governor never mentioned "waterfronts", but Mrs. Jonathan went on: "I want you to get me clear. I am from here (Okrika). I know the problems of my people. So, I know what I am talking. I do not want us to go into crises. We are preaching peace and we must maintain peace at any time.
"But what I am telling you is that you always say you must demolish. That word ‘must, you use is not good. It is by pleading. You appeal to the owners of the compound, because they will not go into exile. Land is a serious issue."
Downcast, Amaechi shunned a reception organised for the First Lady. The reception was, however, not on the programme.
Mrs Jonathan hurriedly left for Abuja. Her planned visit to Port Harcourt prisons, where the Chief Judge, Justice Iche Ndu, was expected to release some prisoners, was cancelled. So was her visit to the new Model Secondary School at Ebubu-Eleme, among others.
A civic reception in honour of the President’s wife was held at the Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt on Monday. Her pet programme, Women for Change Initiative (WFCI), was launched.
This was followed by a state banquet/Award Night at the Government House, Port Harcourt, where the former Miss World, Agbani Darego, who hails from the state, and some women were honoured for their outstanding contributions to society.