by Isi Esene
Many observers expressed disbelief yesterday when the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, was named among the new set of permanent secretaries appointed in Bayelsa State.
Several commentators criticised the appointment pointing out that the position was the exclusive preserve of senior civil servants. The first Lady had previously worked in the Rivers and Bayelsa State civil service but it is not clear if she was due for this appointment or how it would affect her duties as first lady.
She was appointed alongside 17 others according to a statement by Head of Civil Service, Gloria Izonfo.
The statement said: “By the Constitutional power conferred on the state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, in section 203 sub section 2c, Dame Patience Jonathan and Seventeen others were elevated to the position of Permanent Secretary in the State Civil Service”.
According to The Nation Newspapers, Dame Jonathan obtained the National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Mathematics/ Biology in 1989 from the Rivers State College of Education and a Bachelor of Education in Biology and Psychology from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dickson on Media and Public Affairs, Mackson Iworiso, described the appointment as routine action in the Civil Service.
Yeah, it’s all just routine.