First Lady, Patience Jonathan, on Tuesday, refuted reports that her interference in the crisis rocking Ebonyi state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led to the defection of some stalwarts to an opposition party.
A newspaper report had quoted an unnamed Senator that the defections were because the First Lady insisted that the Deputy Governor of the State, Dave Umahi, must be the gubernatorial candidate of the party.
But Ayo Adewuyi, media assistant to the First Lady, described the report as the handiwork of some politicians who are desperate to score cheap political points by tarnishing her image.
According to him: “We consider it absurd that any person will assume that the First Lady would make such a request considering the fact that she has continued to preach for peaceful conduct of all aspirants before, during and after elections, since she believes that peace is prerequisite to a free and fair election and ultimately, development and unity of the country.
“This is another attempt by mischief makers to loop their self-induced political travails around the First Lady, to develop strategy for their survival.
“Let us state once again, that the First Lady is not an elected official of state, neither is she a party functionary. She therefore recognises very clearly her place in the scheme of things.
“Let it be known that the First Lady has no hand in the selection of the Party’s candidates in any state and definitely not in Ebonyi. If anything she has continued the gospel of peaceful atmosphere for the conduct of 2015 elections.
“She believes the elections can only be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and the aspirants must be alive to contest and win election. She only preaches peace because she is a mother of peace.
“To therefore allege that the First Lady insisted that the Ebonyi State Deputy Governor, Chief Dave Umahi must be the gubernatorial candidate of the party against the wish of the people and the party is to say the least subjudice to the efforts of the National Working Committee to ensure that peace returns to the State chapter of the Party”, Adewuyi said.