The strings and ties of fate are not for mortal understanding or manipulation. This is one of the realisations that one comes to after observing Nigerian public figures’ rising and falling. The curious case of former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, comes to mind. Once she tumbled from the heights of presidential glory; now, she soars like an esteemed treasure.
The past months in the ups-and-ups of Nigerian society suggest that changes in the political and social spaces are imminent, fast but moderated. Dame Patience Jonathan’s presence in multiple soirées is one of the best indications of these expected transformations. After five years of being kept out of the thick of things, why is the former First Lady the most popular Guest of Honour now?
At the recent 50th birthday celebrations of Madam Josephine Ozekhome, wife of a top-shelf legal practitioner, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Dame Patience occupied the special guest seat, helping to add more colour to the already colourful ceremony. Also, at the recent burial of oil magnate and renowned philanthropist, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, both Dame Patience and her husband, the former President Goodluck Jonathan, were present. A case might be made for her presence at the Ozekhomes’ (the Jonathans have been good friends with them for a long time) and at the burial ceremony of the late Lulu-Briggs (the late man affected too many lives to ignore), but what about the several others?
Folks are saying that the madames of Nigerian high society intend to continue to cosy up to Dame Patience, for better or for worse, and in light of the rumours that her husband might re-emerge presidential candidate in the upcoming 2023 elections. In short, things are looking good for Dame Patience Jonathan, although she has never been in want of friends. Nevertheless, this is the most stable climb for the former First Lady since 2015, and it is going really well.