The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, has called on her critics to count her out of the lingering political crisis in the state, saying that her only interest in the whole episode is for peace to prevail.
The first lady, who was reacting to reports in some media claiming that she snubbed the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Tele Ikuru, who was at the Port Harcourt International Airport to receive her, observed that despite her restraint in recent times from making comments on the Rivers crisis, some media houses have continued to drag her name into it, thereby painting her as an aggressor.
Noting that some actors, who she did not name consistently “use every medium at their disposal to fan the embers of disharmony and hatred,” Mrs Jonathan, according to a statement by the Director of Information attached to her office, Mrs. Ayo Adesugba, noted: “By now, every right thinking person should know those genuinely interested in peace and those who claim to be democrat and committed to peace, but who have continued to heat up the polity.
“It is for this reason of the intrigue at play that the first lady would want to be left out of Rivers State crisis, hence making her visit to the state as quiet as possible, so as not to give room for mischief makers to succeed in their plans,” the statement read.
On her visit and who received her, the statement explained: “Ordinarily, the wife of the state governor receives the first lady whenever she visits any state. That is why the wife of Bayelsa State Governor travelled from Yenagoa to receive the first lady.”
It added that: “In addition, as a daughter Rivers State, the first lady is free to visit the state any time she desires.”
She, however, asked: “why the presence of the first lady in Rivers state always generate rumpus?”
She pointed out that “While several groups and individuals from across the country came to condole the first lady and Mr. President on the death of her mother, no official of Rivers State Government deemed it fit to pay the first family condolence visit, yet they claimed the first lady is a daughter of Rivers State.”
She, therefore, admonished that: “He who must go to equity must go with clean hands. They should learn to give respect to those who deserve respect so that they too can earn respect.”