Bring Back Our Patience

Bring Back Our Patience

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 5:11 pm

Dame (Dr) Patience Goodluck Jonathan

Dame (Dr) Patience Goodluck Jonathan. Photo: ITUpictures


Nigerians, I have come to realise, are an ungrateful lot. Turning an expression of sympathy, as shown by the lavish tears of Dr. Dame Patience Jonathan for the victims of the mass abduction in Borno State, into an ammunition to shoot her down is spectacularly uncharitable.

I watched Dame Jonathan turn into a sobbing heap of flesh on television and I became convinced that she, indeed, is the mother of the nation. It matters little if the title is a self-awarded one. Titles like the one she bears, when not self-awarded, are given on reflex by the media. It is why you have an Alamieyeseigha or some ethnic irredentist regularly described as an “elder statesman” in the press. Entry requirements into the club of elder statesmen have been so lowered that age is the major one.

Dr. Dame, Perm Sec Patience Jonathan is a bonafide mother of the nation, having once convinced herself that she is a mother to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. By rights, she must be free to cry us a river.

And to those alleging that the tears were those of a famous amphibious reptile, I say button up your lips. How on earth can anyone know if those tears were not a product of genuinely felt grief? Well, they looked convincing to me, beginning from when her not inconsiderable frame started throbbing as emotion coursed through her. Voice breaking, she reached for a hankie and lifted her glasses to wipe off the tears. What else should she have done to show us she felt our pains? Roll on the floor till her wrapper falls? Shed six million barrels of tears per day? Come on!

A cynical neighbour was of the view that she must have spent some hours in the company of some Nollywood actresses, those creatures who get paid to cry, before coming to show the global audience that her tear glands are yet unaffected by the immodest opulence of Aso Rock. He was also angry that it took Dame Jonathan weeks after the abduction to get her tear glands going. That didn’t matter to me. People, especially presidential squaws, should be free to cry only if and when they feel like. I found it touching when she eventually cried. Very touching. Wives of presidents and governors in this country are usually viewed as divas. Dame Jonathan, generously tearful, showed us that she is a diva with a difference. The Perm Sec with a difference moved me to tears and then to hilarity, as only she is capable. You have to be granite-hearted not to be moved. And, I am convinced, you are entitled to the attention of a psychiatrist if you do not whoop with laughter right after the attempt to muffle tears. Many people, especially denizens of social media platforms, were delirious.

For me, Dame Jonathan ensured that I was shuttling between grief and comic relief on a per second basis. “Na only you waka come?” is already an immortal line. So are “chai” and “there is God o”. Dame is also convinced that “blood sharing” (she failed to include the serological parameters) is the same as blood shedding.

We may be irritated by her attempt to act as an official of the state and that the security agencies have conceded to her the powers of investigation, but we must remember that she is the mother of the nation and Jesus to some legislator in Rivers State.

You can accuse Dame Jonathan of many things, but these would not include not being quotable. You can’t say that of her husband, whose most famous soundbite is “I don’t give a damn”. Dame gives a damn and wept, allegedly, so they could bring back our girls and, of course, ensure some of the flak her husband has copped is shifted to the Borno State governor. She failed on all fronts. But given that she effortlessly goes from zero to zero, that wasn’t surprising.

I hope and pray they bring back our girls–soon. And when they do, they should not forget to bring back our Patience. She is howlingly funny, even in a season of sadness.

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