Wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, on Sunday denied a statement credited to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State that she asked him to share the state’s funds with her.
Amaechi had while speaking in Port Harcourt at the joint graduation of the students of the University of Ibadan and pioneer graduates of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, on Saturday was quoted as saying that his problem with Mrs. Jonathan started after he rejected her demand.
“I refused to give them money in Abuja because if I do that, I won’t be able to carry out any development project or finish the road from Rumuolumeni to Rumuepirikom.
“The quarrel between me and the wife of the President is because she said I should bring your money, Rivers people, money and share with her,” the governor reportedly said.
But Mrs. Jonathan, in a statement by her media assistant, Mr. Ayo Adewuyi, said Amaechi’s statement was a deliberate attempt to malign her and score cheap political point.
She further described the governor’s statement as a lie designed to denigrate her person and rubbish the Presidency.
She said she could not have made such a request from the governor either directly or indirectly.
The statement read, “Having waited patiently for Governor Amaechi to refute the statement credited to him about the First Lady, (with the assumption that he was misquoted), it has become clear that it was a deliberate attempt to malign Dame Patience Jonathan and score cheap political point.
“The governor may have been beclouded by the political uncertainty surrounding him to make such a jaundiced and unsubstantiated allegation that the First Lady asked him to bring Rivers State’s money to share.
“This is a blatant lie designed to denigrate the person of Dame Patience Jonathan and rubbish the Presidency. This is to say the least, most unfortunate.
“It is crystal clear that Governor Amaechi is looking for a cheap excuse for his failure in the governance of the state. We say without any iota of equivocation that the First Lady never made such a request and could not have done so in any way either directly and indirectly.
“The First Lady as an indigene of Rivers State is more concerned with the socio-economic development of the state and in a peaceful atmosphere. This guerrilla political warfare must stop.”