Op ed

NIGERIA: Ladies, lies and leadership

Patience Jonathan“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”- Abraham Lincoln

The lady doth protest too much! So the president’s other half, Patience in her inestimable candid humility would like the Senate and the House of Reps to pass the budget of N4 billion earmarked for her “pet” project- The Ladies Mission House. This edifice she tells us will be left for the people of Nigeria and she in her words “will not carry the building with her when her tenure ends”.

Her tenure? Who does she think she is? I mean, did the people of Nigeria vote her in or did they vote for her husband? Suddenly this “fascinating” woman has developed the taste for power.

It seems she has declared herself the mistress of all she surveys. She has rewritten her past even if it is in bad taste and disrespectful to most Nigerians. She does not seem to have a control valve, nor does her husband who indulges her to use the wealth of Nigeria as her play things.

In a country where the mortality rate is distressingly low and the majority of the population are barely making a crust, she has the temerity to display such opulence and wealth. In the presence of the who is who of stupendous wealth and power they gather in the court of their empress to pay their respects and rub shoulders with like-minded people.

While  the  men  of  the  cloth and women politicians and the  rest  of  the  sycophants fall over themselves to  be  at  her beck  and  call.  What? Surely no one wants to attend this show of opulent debauchery? If their conscience served them well they should have politely declined the invite.

What they have done with their presence is to endorse the disgraceful show of excessive living while majority of Nigerians are struggling to make ends meet. Could she not find a cause that could make so much difference in the lives of our people? Does she know over one million children die every year and 14% of childbearing age dies giving birth?

If she does feel deeply about the people, then you would have hope that she will do whatever she can to make a change in the lives of the young and women in Nigeria. Does  she  know  that  life expectancy  for a  male  in  Nigeria  is 48.95  and  for  female is 52.02? Most would not even  live  that  long  without  affordable  access  to  good  health  care. Nigeria is  not
working  and  the overpaid  and  underworked ruling elite are  complicit  to  the  present  state  that  Nigeria  is  in. So pardon me, I fail to see her purpose other than aggrandizing, flaunting   wealth and power.  What really has she done? She is either clueless  or  unfeeling,  either  way,  she does not  really  care  about  ordinary  Nigerians and  she  clearly  does  not  care  about Nigerian  women.

Resurgence of Lazarus

The resurgence of Lazarus by the fragrant  lady  as  she  describes  it, made her want to rededicate her life to the less privilege. Of course, like any other megalomania she throws a party for her subjects. So this  politician with no portfolio has decided that she wants the biggest prize  of  all, a  building   for  her  mission  and  we  should  be  lucky  that  Nigeria has  this  opportunity she  tells us,  no  consultation, no nothing what Patience wants, Patience gets.

While she makes and throws down nonsensical tirade one after the other, the   president watches, without flinching and offers her offer no real direction as to where this runaway train is going to stop. Her   proposed Ladies Mission house will be like the Basilica of Yamoussoukro.

A hare brain while elephant  dreamed  up  by  the then  president  of  Ivory  Coast, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. The  man  used up $300million of  their countries’ meagre resources to build some outrageous buildings that were not exactly suited to the climate, but which very much suited her ego. It is all about ego, wanting to build a monument to herself .

Her justification that other first ladies had done similar project: built hospital, a women centre. So how impertinent are the senate to deny her the means to build her memorial? She argues that it creates employment for the youth. There are no consultations of why the building is needed.

And for good measure she slammed the men that if it were a male project it would have been granted and approved.No, this lady is deluded. In this  trying  times people need the means to work their way out of poverty and no purpose other  than  to  satisfy an overblown ego.

If  that  was  not  enough  to  entice  women  she  had  promise them, 70 per cent of women in Nigeria  will  be  employed  by March.  How is that possible? She tells her listeners that  they too can  be  presidents, governors of the country  one  day.

Her  side kick, PDP through the National Women’s Leader, Dr. Kema Chikwe, has laid  it  out  for the  gullible, that the president  is  very much  a  woman’s  president who  will  increase womens’ participation  by   50% by  2015!

She said: “We are even more confident that when President Goodluck Jonathan returns in 2015, women would be talking about 50 percent, no longer 35 percent. As we give him unequivocal, undiluted, unreserved and unlimited support and as we march with him to 2015, PDP women will reach the promised land.”

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