SOC Okenwa: When The Dame “Died”!

Published:25 Feb, 2013

In seeking to knock this article into shape a lot of captions competed for attention; such titles as ‘The First Lady’s Lazarus Experience’, ‘Our First Lady’s ‘Resurrection”, ‘Playing Lazarus In Modern Nigerian Times’. As a writer it is normal for one to have to deal with issues of this kind and personally I have had cause to deal with it weekly on many occasions but somehow one must decide on what is best suited for the piece as a caption to deliver the message in summary. In this case I had decided to settle for the above because I considered it most appropriate but whether my judgment is right or not is open to debate.

Last Sunday the first family organised a lavish “N500 million” thanksgiving service/bash in Abuja. Special guests from abroad (including former Ghanaian President John Kufour) VIPs, Nollywood superstars ‘Aki’ and ‘Paw-Paw’ and men of God were all present to assist in the jamboree. Abuja was reportedly shut down as the who-is-who of the society joined forces to give thanks to the Most High for performing a ‘miracle’ in the life of the presidential spouse. Perhaps the only high-profile big man absent for obvious reasons was the ex-President (and GEJ’s benefactor and godfather) Olusegun Obasanjo. But former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Aisha Babangida representing his indisposed father (IBB) were there.

In the presence of the dignitaries including the President himself the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan opted for full disclosure as against the recent climate of subreption surrounding her state of health and ‘disappearance’ for months late last year. In an interesting confession in deference to the Omnipotent Doctor she narrated: “It is the Lord’s doing that I returned alive. When God says yes, nobody can say no. People are always afraid of operation (surgery). But in my own case, while my travail lasted, I was begging for it after the third operation because I was going to the theatre every day. It was God who saw me through. I did eight or nine operations within one month”.

And continuing she added: “It was not an easy experience for me, I actually died. I passed out for more than a week. My intestine and tummy were opened. I am not Lazarus but my experience was similar to his. My doctors said all hope was lost. It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days.” Wonderful! Bravo Dame Patience Jonathan for electing (even belatedly) to speak the truth!

It would be recalled that soon after her ‘triumphant’ return from Germany Dame Patience Jonathan had declared shamelessly that she was never hospitalised in any hospital anywhere! Such bare-faced aversion for truth does not help anyone’s image or credibility. But it was in keeping with the ‘Yar’Adua syndrome’, one in which public officials decided to keep their ailments away from the public knowledge for reasons best known to them. We saw it play itself out in bizzare fashion in Enugu with the Governor (Sullivan Chime) who spent more than four months in hospitals in India and London treating cancer only to return home recently to say that he never had any apology or explanation to give to anybody! During the medical sabbatical Chime kept mum abroad while his goons back home struggled to maintain series of befuddling lies that never corresponded with reality.

The Dame lamented how trusted associates and relatives sold off her personal belongings thinking that she was indeed dead and gone for good accusing those she trusted of leaking the information of her one week sojourn in a trance. In Igbo language our elders used to say: “onye nwu’o ihe ya anwu’o” (whoever dies have their things gone with them). Like the literary immortal Shakespeare reasoned we are all here as players in this life that remains a stage; we come and go while playing our parts in a complex global natural order of things.

The president’s son caught my attention as the photographs of the great party were posted online. Looking majestically well-fed (sorry over-fed) in his dashing suit the young boy looked every inch like the son of the late Idi Amin Dada of Uganda whom the cannibal dictator promoted to a “General” during his kleptocratic megalomania in Kampala. Oblivious of the misery in the land and the suffering of millions of kids his age up north and down south the Goodluck junior was resplendent in his smart suit enjoying the paradise around him. The opulence of a few elite and the poverty of our people could not make any sense to him! But thank God though he was not pictured, quite unlike the son of the late President Yar’Adua, marooned in a heap of dollars, pounds and naira holding assault rifle and ready to pull the trigger!

When the Dame “died” one is wondering what was going through that unconscious mind, that ‘raptured’ spirit that took temporal flight for the unknown ostensibly oscillating restlessly between heaven and hell. When our First Lady “died” and “resurrected” in far-away Germany the Dame must have thought about Lazarus with the returning spirit taking cognisance of the fierce urgency of the now purely spiritual; the spirit inhabiting the body must have given room for the manifestation of the spiritual ‘transformation’. When she was knocked out cold and unconscious Aso Rock must have been thrown into a rare presidential grief with the Commander-In-Chief in an uncommon melancholic mood!

As the spirit returned, following the Dame’s untimely ‘demise’, desperate to re-possess the comatose body in dizzying fashion, it must have encountered certain forces mundane hell-bent on leaving things as they were; that is, letting the sleeping female ‘dog’ lie and achieving the set objective of resting the body for good! And putting a fitting end to the delusion of grandeur of the ‘deceased’ Okrika woman, the Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State, the ‘President’ of African First Ladies.

The First Lady lying comatose and breathless must have conjured the image of home without her imposing presence, her husband and her ‘rivals’; her children and above all the millions and billions stashed away, garnered through connubial corruption! Mundane possessions aside, the “resurrected” body would have been imagining what could have been if the benevolent spirit never returned to take possession of the abandoned body left in a heap of hopeless finitude!

The First Lady should have also spared a thought about the fate that would have befallen her proposed N4 billion edifice in Abuja that will accommodate an aberration that calls itself the “African First Ladies Peace Mission” were she to have ‘died’. Perhaps Hajia Turai Yar’Adua could have had the last laugh in their protracted Abuja land tussle since her chief disputant would have gone like her husband did in medical circumstances shrouded in mystery!

The Dame declared with glee that she was ‘resurrected’ from ‘dead’ like Lazarus; that then meant that her faith in the things of the spirit, divinity, was indeed worth applauding here. We never knew, before now, how deep her relationship with her Maker was! Whosoever benefitted from the kind of Lazarus-like miracle as she did must eternally be grateful to Jehovah and His Angels for their celestial capacity for doing good and forgiving human transgressions. The Dame has transgressed on more than one occasion and she knows it!

The Lazarus story found in the Holy Bible remains a strikingly remarkable tale of miracle administered by the Saviour Himself, Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Lazarus, the dead brother of Mary and Martha, had been buried before the only begotten Son of God was notified of his demise three days after. On reaching his grave-site Jesus wept, uttered a prayer and raised Lazarus from dead! Apart from the glorious resurrection of Jesus the Christ three days after His crucifixion no other miracle could have matched that of Lazarus brought back to life after some three days’ spell in the great beyond!

We rejoice in our First Lady’s recovery from her ailment. We wish her long life and sound health and prosperity guaranteed by her husband’s presidential occupation! Her tale of ‘death’ and ‘resurrection’ ought to be celebrated indeed — something the first family did in style last Sunday. It is perfectly fitting that she organized such a thanksgiving to give God the glory and genuinely thank Him for His faithfulness. Recognising that her life, like those of the rest of us, lesser mortals, is in the hands of God, and not German doctors, and giving a moving testimony of her medical trajectory is enough reminder of our collective mortality despite our earthly possessions.

– SOC Okenwa (soco_abj_2006_rci@hotmail.fr)

via SaharaReporters

  • chijioke blaze

    i think she sees us as stupid, does anybody really believe her story? or it just has something todo with the nigerian craze for miracles, the more outrageous the better. Simple someone’s sick, gets admitted to hospital, undergoes surgery, has complications, but survives. She’s not the first person it happened to. No need for the exaggerated story or the lazarus/ressurection effect!

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Edo 2016: Of Afemailand, Its Politics And Legacies by Daniel Afekhume

A video emerged last week where a dispassionate President Obama was telling the Black Community that it will be a "Personal Insult" to himself and Michelle if blacks don’t come out in their numbers to vote Hillary Clinton. His argument was that Trump was coming to destroy his "legacies" and by extension that of African-Americans. In the same light, I wish to state the Edo Governorship election of Sept 28th is one for either the preservation or destruction of the...

Boko Haram Leader Shekau Mentally Ill – Army

The Nigerian Army has described the embattled leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, as mentally ill following the release of the latest video in which the terror group leader denied claims made by the army that he was seriously injured. “The video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorist group leader is mentally sick and unstable,” the spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, said in a statement on...

Ambode Seeks Stronger Tie With Judiciary

The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has called for the continuation of the cordial relationship and peace, which he said exists between the judiciary and the executive arm of government in Lagos State. The governor, who described the judiciary as the last hope of the citizens, also admonished the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, and the rest of the judges to continue to dispense justice with the fear of God. Ambode...

Edo guber: IGP Idris orders restriction of movement

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered restriction of movement during Wednesday’s governorship election in Edo State. He also ordered the activation of the revised operation plan for the election. The operation plan, according to a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the Force Spokesman, Don Awunah, is expected to guarantee free, fair and credible election, secure electoral process, enable eligible voters exercise their franchise freely and voluntary, protect election materials and officials and ensure adequate security before, during...

No amount of intimidation will stop our reconstruction efforts — Shettima

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno on Monday said he was going ahead with the planned rebuilding of damaged buildings in spite of recent attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of the state. Shettima stated this while interacting with newsmen in Bama, headquarters of Bama Local Government Area of the state. He was reacting to the recent attacks by insurgents at the border villages of Logumani and Dara/Jamal, where an army officer and two soldiers were killed. The governor, who relocated...

Despite recession, Dangote vows to scale up investments in Nigeria, Africa

In recognition of his immense contribution to human capital development in Africa through the establishment of businesses across the African continent, a United States of America-based Organization, Africa-America Institute (AAI) has honoured the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, with the “2016 African Business Leader Award.” The business guru was named and presented the award at a colourful ceremony held on the side-line of the United Nations Congress held in New York city, United States alongside other prominent Africans like...

Boko Haram: You have not seen the worst – Shekau

The leader of Boko Haram has mocked claims he was seriously injured by the Nigerian military and warned “you have not seen the worst yet”. In a video posted on social media, Abubakar Shekau dismissed claims by the Nigerian air force that he had been seriously wounded in a raid, telling them: “I will not get killed until my time comes”. The leader of the Islamist militant group also taunted parents of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, telling them their children would...

Lagos begins enforcement of Ikoyi, Victoria Island clean-up

Four weeks after issuing public notices and ultimatum, the Lagos State Special Task Force on the Clean-Up of Ikoyi, Victoria Island over the weekend started the clearing of all illegal structures and shanties. The Clean-Up operation team which was led by the Chairman of the Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences, Supol Yinka Egbeyemi, commenced simultaneously in Ikoyi and Victoria Island at 8am on Saturday and has continued on Sunday morning. It featured the removal of kiosks, sheds by the...

Únity Schools Old Students’ Association (USOSA) Announces Date And Theme For 2016 Annual General Meeting

The Unity Schools Old Students' Association (USOSA) has announced November 4th and 5th as dates for its 2016 annual general meeting. According to details released by the organising committee, the annual general meeting is scheduled to hold by 10am on 4th November with a dinner set for the following day by 4pm. The theme for the 2016 annual general meeting is Education, National Unity & Security. The event will hold at Lekki Coliseum, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

Labour threaten to shutdown Nigeria over planned national assets sale

Oil workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, have threatened to shut down the country should the Federal Government carry out its plan to sell national assets to augment revenue shortfall. Also, the Trade Union Congress on Sunday said it would join PENGASSAN to shut down the country if the government remained adamant on its plan to sell some national assets. PENGASSAN, in a statement on Sunday by its National Public Relations Officer,...

NAF explores agriculture to empower barracks youths

Nigerian military is not left out in the nation’s search for a solution to the economic recession the oil-rich nation slid into few weeks ago, as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is exploring agriculture to empower youths in barracks. He is confident that further involvement of youths in agriculture will deepen the economic diversification drive of the government. Nigeria is battling to get out of its present economic recession made obvious when the National Bureau of Statistics...

Stop terrorising Zimbabweans or we’ll impeach you – Church leaders tell Mugabe

He’s not as well-known as protest pastor Evan Mawarire. But this Zimbabwe church leader’s brave plea to President Robert Mugabe to stop terrorising protesters or face impeachment may attract the attention of the authorities. Already questioned by police and arrested at least once during the past few months, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya is one of five Zimbabwe church men who this weekend penned an open letter to the 92-year-old Mugabe asking him to “stop unleashing terror on citizens for expressing genuine...

Insane Shekau must release Chibok girls unconditionally – Army

The Nigerian Army has described the controversial factional leader of Boko Haram terrorists, as mentally ill and unstable person whose end is near, despite issuing threats in the latest video. The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, in a statement yesterday, said the video clip is a mere propaganda and sign of desperation for a man who was reported to have been “Fatally wounded” in military air strike. “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to...

NESREA warns against cutting of trees without replacement

The State Coordinator of National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in Kwara, Mr. Martins Enenwaene, has warned that cutting of trees without replacement leads to ecological imbalance. Enenwaene gave the warning while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Ilorin on Monday. He said that massive deforestation contributed to the destruction of properties by heavy storm. The NESREA boss said the state had faced different flood cases which were later traced to not having enough trees. Enenwaene said that, “NESREA...

Lungu Lied at UN Summit – Ex-Zambian Leader Scott

Former Zambian president Guy Scott has criticised President Edgar Lungu over the remarks he made during the recently ended United Nations summit in New York. Lungu told the UN 71st summit last week that Africa did not need any strong leaders but strong institutions, adding that his country endeavoured to build a peaceful, just and inclusive society “through the consolidation” of power. Lungu described Zambia as a democracy with an inclusive society where its people enjoyed many freedoms. “The importance of democracy...

BREAKING: Judge Withdraws From Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial

John Tsoho, the judge handling Nnamdi Kanu’s trial, has returned the case file to Ibrahim Auta, chief justice of federal high court, for reassignment. This was sequel to an application by the legal team of Kanu led by Chuks Muoma, claiming that the court was biased in its handling of the matter. “We are only asking the court to hands off; my client has lost confidence in this court,” he said. He claimed that the court was acting in line with the...

Minister Denies Spending N3.4bn On “Change Begins With Me” Campaign

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has demanded a retraction of libelous publications by the Daily Independent newspaper, Omo Bazuaye and Akin Fadeyi over “Change Begins With Me” campaign. The minister made the demand in letters written to the newspaper, Bazuaye and Fadeyi by Falana & Falana’s Chamber, a law firm of a renown civil right activist and lawyer, Femi Falana. The letters dated Sept. 19 and signed by a lawyer Oludare...

Patience Jonathan To Drag EFCC Before West African Court

Former first lady, Mrs Patience Ibifaka Jonathan has concluded plans to drag the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the African Commission of Human and Peoples Right in Gambia. Sources close to the legal team said they took the decision to seek legal redress in a court free from manipulation. Already a new group, The Rebranded Indigenous People of Biafra (TRIPOB) has thrown its weight behind the decision to drag the EFCC before the African Commission of Human and Peopless...

Rihanna Named Global Ambassador for Childhood Education

Rihanna is “Work”-ing on education. The global superstar’s Clara Lionel Foundation has partnered up with Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen on a multi-year initiative to support education across the world. Through this push, Rihanna hopes to advocate for more than a quarter of a billion children who are not currently in school as well as about 330 million students who aren’t learning in the schools they’re in.

3 People You Should Never Take Relationship Advice From (MUST READ)

1. Anyone who is angry and bitter Was your best friend a jilted bride or a groom who was stood up at the altar? Don’t ask friends or family with a chip on their shoulder how to win at love. If you hang around them long enough, their attitude could rub off on you. Then no one will want to date you because you have such a bad attitude. Don’t let someone else’s bad experiences warp...

The 1 Thing Happy Couples Do Every Day

Happy couples communicate with each other. Constant communication seems so obvious, but it can easily slip through the cracks. In order to keep your relationship healthy and happy, there's three things you need to do to communicate successfully. 1. Express your needs and feelings. There's no way for your partner to know what you want out of your relationship if you don't say so. Make sure to clearly express how you are feeling —...