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Patience Jonathan Appointed Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State

12 Jul 2012

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First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan

By Segun James

The announcement would surely take many by surprise. The surprise stems more from the fact that not many people know or consider the nation’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, a career civil servant.

Indeed, until she became the wife of the then Vice-President, Goodluck Jonathan, not much was known or heard of the First Lady.

As the wife of the governor of Bayelsa State, and thus the First Lady of the state, Mrs Jonathan operated more under the shadow of her husband, and so was not exactly visible. But all that is in the past.

Now, she is an engaging national personality, what with her idiosyncrasies which have defined and endeared her to many Nigerians.

Wednesday, she added another notch to her profile by being the first wife of a sitting president to be appointed into the high echelon of the civil service order, while yet serving as the nation’s First Lady. She was appointed a Permanent Secretary by the Seriake Dickson-led government of Bayelsa State. The governor was elected into office last February.

Yes, the concept of First Lady, which is copied from the American system, registers a strong connect in the consciousness of Nigerians, but it is an office still not known to the nation’s constitution. It remains largely a ceremonial office and not careerist.

The name of the president’s wife was first on the list of 19 persons confirmed to the position in a statement by the state government Wednesday evening.

The senior special assistant to the governor on media affairs, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, confirmed the appointment of Mrs. Jonathan Wednesday, saying that the governor, in doing so, only exercised his powers as enshrined in the laws of the state.

Iworiso-Markson explained that the First Lady was a teacher in the state’s  civil service and has been on leave of absence since 1999 when her husband became the deputy governor of the state.

As if to pre-empt queries and unfair remarks that may trail the appointment, the governor’s spokesman argued that Mrs Jonathan would have risen to the status of a permanent secretary, if she did not punctuate her career growth by taking a leave of absence to join her husband in his political service, first to Bayelsa State and then to the entire nation.

Hear him: “But for her position, she would have been at that position before now.”

Mrs. Jonathan obtained the National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Mathematics/ Biology in 1989 from Rivers State College of Education and a Bachelor of Education in Biology and Psychology from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Dame Jonathan’s working experience include: teaching, banking, sports administration and the state civil service,  before her husband became the deputy governor of Bayelsa State and years later, Bayelsa State governor’s wife, wife of the vice-president and now, wife of the president.

The announcement made on the state broadcasting station, Radio Bayelsa, and signed by the Head of Service, Mrs. Gloria Izonfor, stressed that the constitutional power conferred on Dickson, in section 203 sub section 2c, Dame Jonathan and 17 others were elevated to the position of permanent secretary in the state civil service.

It was not immediately known which ministry she has been posted to, albeit in absentia, or which ministry she was serving before she went on her leave of absence.

Aside Justice Fati Abubakar, who was a High Court judge in her native Niger, and later took a leave of absence when her husband, Gen Abdusalami Abubakar, became head of state, no other Nigerian First Lady has had such a defined career path.

By Mrs Jonathan’s appointment, her position in the Bayelsa civil service has been retained, the leave of absence not withstanding, although the appointment will remain nominal since she is on a leave of absence. It is remarkable to note that at retirement, whether she returns to the service or not, she will be graded on the rank of permanent secretary in the Bayelsa civil service.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, Patience Jonathan, Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State

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  • Na waaoh, chop-i chop, Niger, nay so good ? God dey o, Him they watch na you all, how you nay they shared Our collective nation cake among yourself. He go judge habba, one day oh!

    From: jacob Akintola

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!

    From: Nwanne

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • On the later part of the 1999 constitution review committee, it's imperative to look into the issue of judges to be appointed to head tribunals. It could still be manipulated because of the horizontal relationship existing between governors of the different states in Nigeria. Such that, a directive can come from a governor of a state whose judge has been appointed as a tribunal chief judge to influence the judgment. So I pray the committee to look into this recommendation again. I opine that a judge who has never been appointed to be an attorney should be considered in this appointment to avoid indiscriminate corruption of the judicial system.

    From: Pele Agba

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Are kidding me. what a joke

    From: Joy Rider

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Corruption all the way.

    From: Chukwuemeka

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Wat other comment(s) still need here than to congratulate the new permanent secretary even without ministry.

    From: ogundele Idowu

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Wonders will never stop happening in this country!

    From: Taiwo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Congrats

    From: kemiki

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • A commedy of errors

    From: Justin

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • i think our politicians are a hopeless lot. seriake dickson has defined himself already as a political puppet in the hands of patience Jonathan. unfortunate. permanent secretary my foot. when will nigeria stop promoting mediocrity. many iin bayelsa have no job, yet the few opportunities are unjustly reserved for the already exalted.

    From: obioma opara

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • i think our politicians are a hopeless lot. seriake dickson has defined himself already as a political puppet in the hands of patience Jonathan. unfortunate. permanent secretary my foot. when will Nigeria stop promoting mediocrity. many in bayelsa have no job, yet the few opportunities are unjustly reserved for the already exalted.

    From: obioma opara

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • i think our politicians are a hopeless lot. seriake dickson has defined himself already as a political puppet in the hands of patience Jonathan. unfortunate. permanent secretary my foot. when will nigeria stop promoting mediocrity. many iin bayelsa have no job, yet the few opportunities are unjustly reserved for the already exalted.

    From: obioma opara

    Posted: 1 year ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • i think our politicians are a hopeless lot. seriake Dickson has defined himself already as a political puppet in the hands of patience Jonathan. unfortunate. permanent secretary my foot. when will Nigeria stop promoting mediocrity. many iin bayelsa have no job, yet the few opportunities are unjustly reserved for the already exalted.

    From: obioma opara

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • THIS IS HYPOCRISY AT THE HIGHEST ORDER SITTING FIRST LADY PERM SEC ? NA WA OO DICKSON ABUSE OF OFFICE ANOTHER LEGACY IN BAYELSA STATE

    From: OLA MICKY

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Nigeria, a laughing stock.

    From: femi adamolekun

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Nigeria, Land of Comedy

    From: 9jagobetter

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • The Gov of Bayelsa needs his head examined, So Mrs Jonathan deserves to be made a ~Perm Sec, because she was a teacher, I pity the poor students who were subjected to her teaching. Is it a wonder we are annually churning out half baked illiterates, when the teachers the likes of Mrs Jonathan who themselves are in charge. NO, NO, NO, BAYELSANS SHOULD RISE UP TO SAY NO TO THIS MADNESS, Mr Dickson, can payback GEJ in other ways for his being imposed as Governor of Bayelsa State. NIGERIA IS A CRAZY COUNTRY, WHERE INCOMPETENCY IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY

    From: angryniger@hotmail.com

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • The Governor of Bayelsa might as well vacate his post for the Dame.

    From: Savage

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • congratulations to the nations first lady. Gov Dicson ride on.

    From: ISAAC

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • The problem with "shoeless" people is that everything seems like a pair of shoes!

    From: ugoklin

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • There is no doubt that she is making a great self sacrifice on behalf of the nation.The question that arises is, would some other persons unknown,on leave of absence,have been accruing promotion as she did? Or,is this the beginning of women agitation for a right? I know Tony Blair's wife continued to work as a judge whilst the wife of the Prime Minister.And Hilary Clinton did not become head of her former,law firm when Clinton left office.But who said Nigeria cannot set the pace in something? I rather wish it is not on impunity and corruption.If this is a right,it must apply to other women who take time off to pursue other things like child-rearing or looking after incapacitated members of the family.If not Patience Jonathan should be reporting to Bayelsa state Liaison office in Abuja every morning from 8am to 3.30pm with full perm sec responsibilities .All her emoluments should then be donated to any charitable organization of her choice.NCE class of 1989,are you all Per Secs?

    From: Emeka K Duru

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • 1DAZ SHALL NEVER END,CONGRATS MAMA OF 9JA.

    From: MAC

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • this must be a joke! bitch cant even spell her name rotatory! niaja has gone insane.

    From: IDGAF

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I am ashamed to be a Nigerian. Who recommended her for this appointment? Is it the President? I know and I ALWAYS say that PDP will destroy this country. They are a bunch of shameless people.

    From: cso

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Its a joke!!! Its both poor for the lady's person as well as for her husband, the president. These politicians should spare us these continuous acts of ridicule before serious-minded nations.

    From: emmann

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • wonder wonder wonderful nigeria,first lady holder of exotic certificate?

    From: apostle of truth

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Your Excellency, accept my heartfelt congratulations on your appointment as one of the permanent secretaries in bayelsa state civil service.However,am glade to hear that you are a graduate of almighty mathematics,biology and psychology.BRAVO

    From: Mr Frank

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Madam teacher, congrats! You people are shameless, what did you want again? It is a pity! Wicked leader(s).

    From: Ennyjay

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • The Nigerian state has finally crumbled and our leaders have truly gone mad. This Failed state has been turned into a private firm where the Board of Directors and top management are only interested in enriching themselves by any and all means while there is no care for the firm or those who actually get the work done. At this rate there is only one end in sight, hope the BoD are prepared...........

    From: CHINEDU A.

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • That is why the new governor was appointed to play the acts written by his boss which the former governor refuse to act.God bless Nigeria

    From: GBENGA

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Congrats our first lady

    From: Amira galiry

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • We should not be complaining as we are reaping what we have sowed! We saw it coming before the elections and we told you so but nay we were called all sorts of names. I am still hoping he can do well. Poor people will always vote for a wrong leader because they never know what they want.

    From: Femi Balogun

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Who is she now? - First Lady? Permanent Secretary?

    From: Sola

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • What a severance package for Mrs. Patience Jonathan. Our leaders has demonstrated uncommon trait of leadership again with this appointment. What value(s) she will contribute as a permanent Secretary to the state apart from politicking. Who will educate our leader.........

    From: Ibrahim Foshoro

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Anything is possible in Nigeria. From the position of a classroom teacher to permanent secretary. This laughable. However, let us dig into her certificates.Let us know the years she graduated from these schools?

    From: ABIODUN

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • WHAT'S THE COMMENT ABOUT? IT'S NO NEWS.ITS NIGERIA NORMAL WAY OF DOING THINGS,SO ANYTHING GOES.

    From: GERTIE

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Nigeria............see this goodluck pipu o!!!! So all the money you are pocketing is not enuf for ur *umblella* abi?.........iranu oshi

    From: ugoeze

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • The height of sycophancy!!!

    From: Baffled

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • which kind of country is Nigeria? Somebody who is in leave of absence promoted for doing nothing This is Bad precedent.What happens to the hardworking civil servants in Bayelsa?

    From: yusuf

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I dey laugh oooooo. Monkey backing Monkey to climb Palm tree. Naija don finish...Whoo? Dame? permanent secretary..Na wa ooooo.

    From: Dotiminarie

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • pls, does it mean that bayelsa people does have any other person to be elevated to that position except Dame Jonathan, wife of the president. there is partial in this cos i know of high educated men and women in bayelsa.

    From: chinelo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I think Mrs. Jonathan deserves more than this portfolio. While not considered her for a Governor of the State in the next political dispensation since appointment of political office is now a family affairs. I am sure this will be the best option to please Mr. President who single highhandedly imposed the present governor in the name of election. Well done Bayelsan for your consideration.

    From: Akin Oloye

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • This appointment is Dickson's thank you. Scratch my back I scratch your back . And yet Sylva was chased out as corrupt. What do you call this? Leave of absence my foot. Ther is no decency anymore in Nigerian politics, anything goes.

    From: Uwaechegi Dimkpa

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • This is impunity on a steroid. Taking Nigerians on a reckless and endless ride, by the political class continues . Welcome to banana republic.

    From: Edo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Leave of absence right? *deep sigh* Pure greed!!!

    From: bj

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • This country would not stop amazing us. What else does she want? She should allow others to move up, everything shouldn't be her alone. There are other qualified persons in the ministry. God bless Nigeria...

    From: Paul Adamu

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Just stupid and mere foolishness. How many university graduate of 1985 are permanent secretaries in Bayelsa, not many.

    From: ehiz

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • on ds appointment,God dey

    From: fatima ameh

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Indeed it goes a long way to explain the extend to which this dirty PDP is taking Nigerians for a ride. So Dame ever went to school????

    From: kingben

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • What is this country turning into??? giving positions even to those who do not merit or deserve it.wht rubbish!

    From: Anonymous

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • The appointment aside, which akara schools in this world offer Mathematics/Biology, Biology/Psychology combination? Does Uniport still offer the wild combination of Biology and Psychology? Who else read these horrible combination with the latest Perm Sec? If she attended Uni port kindergarten, let�s say so and stop embarrassing the country. After all graduands from present day kindergarten can read and reason better than her. Where and where did she work after graduation? I understand she was making and selling akara and roasted plantain on the roadside. The Jonathan are a serious indictment on Uni port that must have been churning out unbaked graduates long before the standard of education dropped in the country generally.

    From: Mbuk

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I used to think that Gov. Dickson is educated but now I know that there is a huge difference between going to school and attaining an academic qualification and education itself. Dickson is such a hyposycophant and supremobeggist who was merely handpicked into the position he very suddenly found himself - governor. He claimed to be Jonathan's loyalist simply because he wanted the position of the governor of the state. What did he do? He taped Timipri Sylva's (then Governor of the State) conversation and went in person to play it for the rumour-mongering henpecked wimp we call president. As a reward for his very hard and fine work, our dear henpecked wimpy president Jonathan earmarked him for the highest position in the state. Then he played Sylva against Timi Alaibe, and played Ben Bruce against Dickson. In the end because Timi Alaibe was equally a fool of the highest order, higher than the Order of the Gatha, he succumbed to glittering coins in the beggarly plate of the wimpy President and switched political parties. He moved from Labour Party, a honourable Party to the Peoples Destructive Party (PDP) all to get a bit of the aromatic stew cooking in Aso Rock. Then the poor fool roasted in his own stew – he was denied the seat. Oh dear Timi.

    The whole reward scheme in the Bayelsa political theatre was not over with Jonathan giving Dickson the governorship of the state on a platter. Of course, our dear Dickson has to recognize the hard work of President Jonathan in putting him in the highest office of corruption in the State by giving the First Lady, Patience Jonathan… hey! no! Dear God, what have I done? I did not follow the protocol. Now lets start afresh. To recognize the hard work of our dear president Jona, our sweet governor, Dicky has to reward Jona by giving (in Bayelsa everything is giving on a platter) the First Lady, Her Excellency. Dame, Professor, PS, Mrs. Patience Jonathan the position of Permanent Secretary. I’m not sure if Dickson (Dicky) understands that Perm Secs are usually career bureaucrats. Dicky your appointment is embarrassing to the Bayelsa state that is already suffering from image problem. This is embarassing to especially the Bayelsa women. I am certain that there are good female bureaucrats in that state to fill the vacant PS position giving to Her Excellency. Dame. Professor, PS. Mrs. Patience Jonathan. After all, women went out of their way to help in the Jonathan’s campaign and ensured he won the election. But today none of the women is remembered. Not even the Daispora women who put their families and their images on the line just to see that Jonathan won the election. Anyway some of those women caused their own problem sha. Because they claimed that Patience was their former classmate so they went all out to help Pepe and her husband win the election. Funny, Dame, Prof, PS, Mrs Pepe Jonathan has denied these women, saying that she never attended the same school as they. It’s a shame on Jonathan and his wife who used the Nigerian women to achieve their selfish ends. Una go see.

    From: Tombara Ebikumo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • These people are takiing Nigerians for a ride.Very unfortunate.

    From: Romeo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • These people are taking Nigerians for a ride,Very unfortunate.

    From: Romeo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Nonsense! How many qualified teachers are there in Bayelsa State that have been serving since before she got her NCE and are no where near directors in any ministry? This is a shameful public show and lack of respect for the people of Bayelsa state. Only last week I met someone from Bayelsa in London and we were chatting about the affairs of our dear country, he told me there are people in Bayelsa who still think Gowon is the president FRN. I thought told him he was kidding. Now am thinking twice

    From: Rabiu Abubakar

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • This is ridiculous only in Nigeria. Wonders will never end in Nigeria. This is sycophancy at play. Jonathan please comment.

    From: Peter lives in Calgary, Canada

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Dame Patience, teacher? We need to check on those students that av passed under her tutelage.hw was she communicating?

    From: wumi adewakun

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • there are several ways to lead the world; either the main street way or you can use the backside way. Nigeria/jona has chosen to take the about turn first system to lead the way to employ a ruler's wife. all mistakes make styles plenty. the question be se, she go get pay and she go work or only in name? this is very interesting time for nigeria and the entire world. she be teacher, I bet she wan teach us some civil lessons wey all the thinkers never remember. good one naija.

    From: ENEFAAAHAA

    Posted: 1 year ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • there are several ways to lead the world; either the main street way or you can use the backside way. Nigeria/jona has chosen to take the about turn first system to lead the way to employ a ruler's wife. all mistakes make styles plently. the question be se, she go get pay and she go work or only in name? this is very interesting time for nigeria and the entire world. she be teacher, I bet she wan teach us some civil lessons wey all the thinkers never remember. good one naija.

    From: ENEFAAAHAA

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Dickson, you have failed God and the people that rigged you into office. GOD SAFE NIGERIA

    From: L. A. Olanrewaju

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Naija were are we going.....stori stori everyday.

    From: percy

    Posted: 1 year ago

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