For the first time, first civilian Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, on Friday night, disclosed that the immediate past First Lady, Patience Jonathan, opposed the nomination of her husband, Goodluck, as his deputy governorship candidate in 1998, ahead of the elections in 1999.
He said Mrs. Jonathan was contented with her husband’s progress at the defunct Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC), where he was an Assistant Director.
Alamieyeseigha spoke during a banquet organised by the Bayelsa State Government, as part of programmes for a civic reception in honour of the former President at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Yenagoa,
Patience, however, shunned the banquet, following alleged irreconcilable political differences between her and Governor Seriake Dickson.
Jonathan was Alamieyeseigha’s deputy from 1999 to 2005, when he took over as governor after his boss was impeached over money laundering charges.
Alamieyeseigha told the audience that Mrs. Jonathan resisted the proposal which he and the current chairman, Governing Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Gordon Bozimo, had taken to him at their home in Port Harcourt.
He said Patience was never happy that her husband was being dragged into the murky waters of politics.
Apparently put under pressure by his wife to reject the offer of deputy governorship, the former Bayelsa governor said Jonathan, drove to his (Alamieyeseigha’s) residence in Port Harcourt a few days later and announced his decision not to accept the offer.
“Patience was not happy that Jonathan was chosen to be my deputy governor. She said she would not like him to go into politics. She said they were comfortable the way they were,” Alamieyeseigha added.
Continuing, he also described Jonathan as a complex character who “does not talk. He can keep something in mind for 10 years and will not talk and he will be playing with you.”
He noted however that the former President had raised the bar of good governance in Nigeria in the last six years, stressing it would be a huge task for anyone to surpass him.
“He rendered momentous service to the nation. His exploits and achievements are good enough for the young people to learn.
“If he can rise to that peak (of being President of Nigeria), then there are many Jonathans in this hall. His humble background and dint of hard work had taken him there”, Alamieyeseigha added.