BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN
Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus were obviously not in the mould of the aides of Mrs. Patience Jonathan, the nation’s first lady who by fate or fortune also happens to be a permanent secretary in the Bayelsa State civil service.
When their brother fell ill, Mary and Martha knew what to do: they promptly sent for The Man they believed could cure him of his sickness, having been eyewitnesses to Jesus’ healing ministry.
Mary and Martha were as such sullen that despite their openness and transparency that Jesus did not immediately respond to their predicament leading to the death of Lazarus.
But after Lazarus was raised up, after four days in the grave, the sorrow of the sisters turned to joy leaving them vindicated in their trust in Jesus.
But the story certainly would not be the same for the media aides of Mrs. Jonathan who was reported to have also passed through the harrows of death and come out of it.
Last Sunday the nation’s political gladiators gathered in Abuja to thank God for the mighty delivery of our own first lady.
For the first time Nigerians got to know of the difficult times our first lady and president passed through during those difficult days when several stories about the circumstances of Mrs. Jonathan filled the media.
After the thanksgiving few in the country’s political power circle would have been as glum as the media aides of the first lady.
When last September, Mrs. Jonathan disappeared from the scene it understandably generated not a little fuss. Mrs. Jonathan’s disappearance followed her appointment as a permanent secretary by Governor Serikae Dickson of Bayelsa State and a busy schedule hosting a conference of Africa’s first ladies in Abuja.
At the time of her disappearance no one really knew what happened and it was not until few days after that some internet blogs reported that the nation’s first lady was hospitalised in a foreign hospital.
The presidency was quick to dismiss the reports with a spokesman of Mrs. Jonathan saying that the first lady’s trip abroad was to enable her take a well deserved rest given her tough schedules in Bayelsa State and as leader of African first ladies.
“If you look at her itinerary in August you will be wondering how she was able to accomplish that. In the course of this week, she will be back home. But remember, it all depends on her plans,” the spokesman had said.
However, Mrs. Jonathan openly poured ridicule upon the assertions of her aides during last Sunday’s thanksgiving when she regaled her invited guests to the story of her passage through the valley of the shadow of death.
It is no surprise that even Lai Mohammed, the acerbic spokesman of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN while condemning the aides first of all symphatised with the first lady.
What happened last year ought not to have happened and the administration must work to ensure that it does not happen again.
The summary of it all was that administration officials lied to Nigerians on the simple issue of the first lady’s health. Whether she is a public official or not, is not the contention, but the issue is that government officials lied.
How the officials who parroted those lies would expect anyone to ever believe them again when they say something pertaining to the administration would be an issue.
While Mary and Martha rejoiced at the end of the day because they told the truth to Jesus on the issue of their brother, it is certain that those who told lies about Dame Jonathan would certainly be sullying after the woman they claimed to have been on vacation claimed she was literally dead for seven days.
Having bettered Lazarus who died for four days, it is welcoming that Mrs. Jonathan has now pledged to commit herself to the public good. One area she should nudge her husband is towards ensuring that government officials do not again tell lies about the ills of the society. The ill health of Mrs. Jonathan should be the last lie.