By Belema Meshack-Hart, Chief Press Secretary to former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
…accuses Magu of witch-hunt
Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has accused the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, of relentlessly prosecuting a plot to destroy her family.
For this, Mrs. Jonathan has enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to call the EFCC boss to order, stressing that Magu’s vindictive disposition towards the former First Family, is portraying the organization as an agency for revenge.
Mrs. Jonathan also counselled that bringing Magu back to the path of sanity and reason would serve as a means of salvaging the image of the Presidency which she said the EFCC boss was ceaselessly desecrating through his malicious actions.
In the statement signed by her media aide Belema Meshack-Hart, the former First Lady also accused Magu of bias, and intimidation and lamented that the EFCC boss had been spreading barefaced falsehood and propaganda against her in the name of investigations.
Mrs Jonathan further claimed that Magu’s actions were tantamount to “unjustified witch-hunt”, stressing that no other first lady had faced such fate of brazen intimidation in the history of this country.
The statement said: “We wish to bring to the attention of Nigerians, the unjustified witch-hunt and media propaganda against the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her family by the agents of the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and his media hirelings.
“For almost three years, this agency of Government has beamed its searchlight on her, her family members including siblings and parents, as well as her Foundation and Non-Governmental Organisation; A. Aruera Reach Out Foundation, and Women for Change and Development Initiative, in the name of investigating their activities.
“However, we have since discovered that the real intention is to disgrace, intimidate, dehumanize and ridicule her and her family, through sheer cheap propaganda, sensational investigation and media trial that have been going on for too long.
“We wish to place it on record that in the history of this country, no wife of any President had been so far investigated in such flagrantly vindictive and disgraceful manner, as has been the fate of Mrs. Jonathan, in the hands of Magu’s EFCC.
“As a tradition, every First Lady in this country has had one pet project or the other, with which they sought to intervene in the lives of the less privileged. Mrs. Jonathan started her NGO in Bayelsa State 11 years ago when her husband was the Governor of the State. With it, she has, over the years, touched the lives of many Nigerians in different ways. It is then surprising that while other First Ladies and their pet projects were left alone, it is only her activities and that of her NGOs that are being subjected to indefinite probe and microscopic scrutiny by the Buhari administration.
“In a method that clearly bears out the axiom of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it, Magu’s EFCC had maliciously linked Mrs. Jonathan to all kinds of fake possessions and properties around the country, including the Local Content Office in Yenagoa which is an arm of NNPC, Shoprite Complex, Nigerian Customs Guest House and Park View Hotel, both in Port Harcourt, as well as the residence of her neighbor who is a serving Senator. It has now come to a point where all the magnificent edifices in Abuja, Yenagoa or Port Harcourt are presented to the media as belonging to Mrs. Patience Jonathan. Not done, they also accuse her of owning several plots of land in many cities across the country, including places she has never visited. The most astonishing of all is that her close relatives are viciously being victimized, as their personal properties are also being investigated.
“It is either the EFCC is now led by people who cannot conduct proper investigations, or they are deliberately feeding the public with false information, in line with their sinister script to embarrass and browbeat the former First Family.
“We wish to remind President Muhammadu Buhari that what Magu and other agents of his Government are doing is tantamount to desecrating the hallowed and dignified office of the President, and exposing it to public ridicule before the rest of the world. As the elected President, Muhammadu Buhari has become a father to all Nigerians. He should therefore resist the snare of those vile advisers who portray him as a sectional and vindictive leader, out to disgrace his predecessors.
“We implore President Buhari to call Magu and his … to order so he does not further defile and do more damage to the dignity of the seat of the nation’s President. The seat of the President of any country is sacred and the occupant must be respected. As a former First Lady, Mrs. Jonathan has been falsely called all manner of names, including drug peddler, by … well-oiled propaganda machinery.
“We believe that she is being systematically persecuted and punished because of her unflinching support for her husband during the 2015 elections. President Buhari should be reminded that his wife also supported him in all the elections he contested against her husband, former President Jonathan, but Dr. Jonathan did not at any point in time, carry out personal vendetta or go after Buhari’s wife. That is the standard practice in all democracies around the world. For instance, Michelle Obama campaigned vigorously for her husband’s party during their last Presidential election, but we are yet to see President Donald Trump move against her. One thing is clear: No matter what they do to Mrs. Jonathan, she will continue to stand by her husband, the father of her children, even if it means paying the supreme price with her life.
“We are inclined to believe that there is a well orchestrated plan to destroy her and her husband by Magu. The signs are ominous and obvious. Her children had been harassed with her daughter’s house burgled. Her vehicles have been attacked on the road four times, since 2015. Their house in Abuja was vandalized allegedly by security agents sent by Government to secure it, and the items stolen are yet to be recovered. We are inclined to remind President Buhari that when he was attacked in Kaduna, the former First Lady’s husband, Goodluck Jonathan, as the then President, immediately fortified his security to ensure his safety.
“There is no doubt that the grand plot to hound and humiliate the Jonathan family by Magu, is afoot. But we are consoled by the fact that duplicity and treachery have an expiry date. Today’s dance of victory is only temporary. No one can deceive the masses for ever. The truth will rise up one day to trounce all the massive lies and propaganda that are today being spread against Mrs. Jonathan and her family.”