written by: saint mienpamo (director of operation) bayelsa new media team
The first lady, Patience Jonathan, will not relocate to Bayelsa State to perform the duties of permanent secretary and will not earn any pay during the period.
Her spokesman, Mr Ayo Osinlu, stated this yesterday during an interview with the bayelsa new media team online.
Governor Seriake Dickson had on Wednesday appointed the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan as a permanent secretary in the Bayelsa State civil service alongside 17 other senior civil servants in the state.
But Osinlu claims that, unlike the others appointees, the first lady will hold her office in absentia.
“She is on leave of absence. She is not going to function in the office of the permanent secretary in Bayelsa State. It is a civil service position. She is a staff of the Bayelsa State civil service. But she will also not collect any perk for the office. It will be illegal for her to draw salary from the office,” he said.
According to Osinlu, the first lady is apparently delighted at the appointment, saying that she had no cause to publicly accept or decline the appointment.
The president’s wife, who left the Bayelsa State civil service 13 years ago after her husband became the deputy governor of the state, was elevated to the position usually reserved for senior civil servants.
Governor Dickson had claimed that he made the appointment in line with the constitutional powers conferred on his office.
WHY WE APPOINTED MRS. JONATHAN AS PERMANENT SECRETARY
The Bayelsa State Government yesterday explained to the bayelsa new media team why the wife of Nigeria incumbent President, Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan was appointed as permanent secretary in the state.
The first lady, who is an indigene of Okirika in River state, got her appointment letter signed by the Head of Civil Service of Bayelsa State, Mrs Gloria Izonfo.
A Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dickson on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Mackson Iworiso said the First Lady got the new promotion due to her long service transferred from the Rivers State Civil Service to the Bayelsa Civil Service.
Iworiso described the appointment as routine action in the Civil Service.
Also, according to a letter signed by the Head of Civil service said: “By the Constitutional power conferred on the state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, in section 203 sub section 2c, Dame Patience Jonathan and Seventeen others were elevated to the position of Permanent Secretary in the State Civil Service”.
Dame Jonathan obtained the National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Mathematics/ Biology in 1989 from the Rivers State College of Education and a Bachelor of Education in Biology and Psychology from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
She worked in Teaching, Banking and as a Sports Administrator in the State Civil-Service. She was First Lady of Bayelsa State.
Mrs. Jonathan is now the first Nigerian first Lady to be appointed into a position reserved mainly for senior civil servants.
However, 17 other civil servants were also appointed by the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson as permanent secretaries.
The other appointees are Mr.J.E. Oye, Samson Ayibeboa, Mrs. Antonia Koroye, Ziwari Billie, Buruboyefa John, Mrs Dikuro Ayebameh, Serge Williams, Olu Kuruom, G.I.Izein, Mrs.Philomena Alodie, Dr. Omietimi Kojo, Ese Izonebi, Ohougha Maythias, James Clinton, Mrs. Linnet Tebepah, Moses Teibowei, Dr. A. Sanayi and Vivian Odiwei.