PATIENCE JONATHAN REFUTES ALLEGATION OF FUELLING RIVERS STATE CRISIS

First Lady Patience Jonathan has refuted reports that she is involved in the crisis in Rivers State.

In a statement today, Ayo Osinlu, her Special Assistant on Media, denied reports she summoned and held a meeting with security chiefs last weekend where she instructed them to take firmer action on the political crisis.

“We assure all well-meaning Nigerians that this is the handiwork of mischief-makers who are hell bent to drag the person of the First Lady into disrepute,” the statement said.

The denial comes amid reports that Mrs. Jonathan has relocated to Yenegoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, to engineer the escalation of the political crisis rocking Rivers state.  Mrs. Jonathan is originally from Rivers, but she also holds office as a Permanent Secretary in the state government in Bayelsa, her husband’s home State.

She is currently hosting junior Minister, Nyeson Wike at Government House in Yenegoa, where she met with the top military and police leaders on Sunday night.  That secret meeting involved the Brigade commander, the Air Force commander, the Naval Commander, and the Commissioner of Police.

Mrs. Jonathan reportedly told some top politicians that she will not leave Yenegoa until Gov. Rotimi Ameachi is removed from office as Governor of Rivers, where several important developments have taken place since Monday.   One of them was Thursday’s invasion of the State House of Assembly by about 300 thugs, with the aid of the Commissioner of Police.  Yesterday, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Otelemaba Dan Amachree, accused President Goodluck Jonathan’s government of being behind the political crisis.

In her press statement today, Mrs. Jonathan said she remained committed to peace and good governance in the country.

Text of the press statement:
OFFICE OF THE FIRST LADY, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
PRESS RELEASE

LEAVE FIRST LADY OUT OF RIVERS’ CRISIS
This is to alert the general public that insinuations are rife in a section of the public towards drawing the First Lady into the political crisis in Rivers State. According to the insinuations, the First Lady is being alleged to have summoned and held a meeting with security chiefs in Rivers state last weekend where she instructed them to take firmer action on the political crisis in the state.
We assure all well meaning Nigerians that this is the handiwork of mischief-makers who are hell bent to drag the person of the First Lady into disrepute.
We therefore, advise members of the public to discountenance such impressions, as the First Lady remains committed to peace and good governance in the country.

Ayo Osinlu,
Special Assistant on Media to First Lady.
May 8, 2013.

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