Nigeria News
First Lady Resigns as Permanent Secretary
First Lady Patience Jonathan

First Lady Patience Jonathan

The First Lady Patience Jonathan has resigned her appointment as a permanent secretary in the Bayelsa State civil service.

Her resignation, THISDAY learnt, may have been as a result of a political fallout with the state governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, over the sharing of political offices in the state.

It was gathered that Mrs. Jonathan verbally resigned over a month ago, but the decision was finally communicated to the state’s Head of Service through a letter on Tuesday.

The first lady, who is popularly referred to as “Super Perm Sec”, was appointed in July 2012, five months after the inauguration of Dickson as governor of the state.

Dickson was accused of sycophancy over the appointment of Mrs. Jonathan as one of the 17 permanent secretaries in the state civil service two years ago.

A source in the Office of the Head of Service said the reason given for the resignation was that since she had risen to the pinnacle of her career, the first lady felt that it was the best time to leave the civil service.

The source said although she had verbally informed the governor of her intention to resign, the decision only took effect from the time the HOS got and accepted her resignation letter.

One other source said the first lady, in her letter of resignation, opted for voluntary retirement. He said the ministry had computed and finalised her terminal benefits already.

When asked what her total terminal benefits would be, he said: “Well, I don’t know. All I can tell you is that everything has been processed.

“The whole thing is political. It appears Madam Jonathan is not happy with the governor. With her resignation, the battle line has been drawn.”

Another official, who confirmed the resignation, was emphatic, saying: “I can say Mrs. Patience Jonathan has voluntarily retired. But whether there is a political undertone in her resignation, I cannot say.

“I think the first lady felt that her continued stay as permanent secretary will be depriving others. Now that she has thrown in the towel, it will afford others the opportunity to take her position.”

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