First Lady visits P/Harcourt, shuns Rivers govt


THE feud between the presidency and the Rivers State government reverberated on Sunday, as the First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, visited the state and was shielded from contacts with officials of the state government.
Before her arrival on Sunday, security operatives had set up watches and barricades around the vicinities of her private residence on Bauchi Road, Old GRA area of Port Harcourt.
However, Nigerian Tribune gathered that the circumstances around her visit this time round was not different from the experience in June, when she stayed some 10 days in the city.
A reliable source close to the state government informed the Nigerian Tribune that the government team, led by the deputy governor, Tele Ikuru, who had gone to receive Mrs Jonathan at the airport, was not allowed to access the tarmac.
According to the source, who pleaded anonymity, the presidency had previously communicated to the Rivers State Government House on the planned visit of the First Lady to the state, adding that it was in response to this that the government made the necessary arrangement to receive her.
“Since the governor was out of town, the deputy governor had to lead a team of government officials to receive her. But on getting to the airport, the team was not even allowed to access the tarmac,” the source said.
He added that “a military man approached them and told the team that they had directives from the presidency that they should not be allowed near the First Lady. It was the wife of the Bayelsa State governor who was allowed to receive her.”
Meanwhile, other sources have informed that Mrs Jonathan was on a three-day visit to the state in connection with the burial of her foster mother, who died in an auto accident in July. 


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