Patience Jonathan

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Patience Jonathan
Patience Jonathan 2013.jpg
First Lady of Nigeria
In role
5 May 2010 – 29 May 2015
President Goodluck Jonathan
Preceded by Turai Yar'Adua
Succeeded by Aisha Buhari
Personal details
Born (1957-10-25) 25 October 1957 (age 60)
Port Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria
Spouse(s) Goodluck Jonathan
Residence Old GRA, Port Harcourt[1][2]
Alma mater University of Port Harcourt

Patience Faka Jonathan (nee Oba)[3] was born on 25th October 1957. She is a former First Lady of Nigeria and the wife of former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. She served as a permanent secretary in her native Bayelsa State.[4]


Born in Port Harcourt, she earned her school certificate in 1976, and passed the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in 1980. In 1989, she obtained the National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Mathematics and Biology from the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt. She then proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt and studied for a B.Ed in Biology and Psychology. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Port Harcourt.[5][6]


Jonathan started her career as a teacher at the Stella Maris College, Port Harcourt and at the Sports Institute Isaka. She then moved to the banking sector in 1997. She served as Marketing Manager of Imiete Community Bank. After which she established the first community bank in Port Harcourt called the Akpo Community Bank. She returned to the classroom briefly again as a teacher. Eventually she was transferred to the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, where she served until 29 May 1999 when her husband became the Deputy Governor of the state. On 12 July 2012, she was appointed as permanent secretary in Bayelsa state by Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, The appointment was unique considering she had been on leave from the civil service for over 13 years, since her husband became deputy governor in 1999,[7][8] and some critics argued it was a national embarrassment[9] highlighting there was no merit or evidence of any recent performance to warrant a promotion to the peak of the civil service. It is alleged that Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson was sponsored to his governorship position by her husband .[10] First Lady of Nigeria (2010 - 2015).

She and her husband have two children - Arewera Adolphus Jonathan (a boy) and Aruabi Jonathan (a girl)[11].

Philanthropic work[edit]

Patience Faka Jonathan has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for her philanthropic work and political pragmatism. She received the "Beyond The Tears" International Humanitarian Award New York, USA, in 2008,[5] for her role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS; the African Goodwill Ambassador Award (Los Angeles, USA, 2008) and was the recipient of the "Wind of Change" Award from the South/South Women’s Organization.

When Goodluck Jonathan served as Governor between 2005 and 2007, Patience Jonathan served the state in the capacity of the first Lady of Bayelsa State. During this period, she founded many philanthropic and women empowerment programs, among them are the A-Aruere Reachout Foundation (AARF),[12] which she set up to improve the status and earning capacity of Nigerian women and youths. The foundation already has its focus on supporting and assisting children with heart-related problems.


Jonathan in 2012.

It was announced 4 September 2012 that she was hospitalized in Germany following a severe bout of food poisoning that lasted for days. Patience fell sick about 10 days earlier, following her hosting of a summit of first ladies from across Africa. Patience was discharged from the Horst Schmidt Klinik in Wiesbaden on 2 October 2012.[13][14] When the national media noticed her unusual disappearance from public view, the approach of her office was to initially deflect attention by denying she was in Germany to utilize the high quality healthcare provision of the country. Her spokesman, Ayo Osinlu, released a statement stating that she had only gone to Germany "to take time off to rest" and not for medical purposes. This was to avoid highlighting the presidential family were avoiding using the low quality healthcare system provided for the Nigerian citizens and prefer higher quality foreign provisions for themselves at taxpayers expense when needed.[15]

The emotional Nigerian First lady, Patience Jonathan broke down in tears on hearing the latest news on the abduction of the girls of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok. Patience Jonathan was involved in controversy during the crisis over 230 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria. After a meeting she convened in May 2014 with representatives of the Chibok community, whose children had been abducted, there were reports that one of the leaders - Naomi Mutah - had been detained by police. It was alleged that Mrs Jonathan had reportedly felt slighted that the mothers of the abducted girls had sent Ms Mutah to the meeting. Immediately after the meeting, Ms Mutah was taken to a police station and held. Pogo Bitrus, another Chibok community leader, described the detention as 'unfortunate' and 'insensitive', and said he hoped Mrs Jonathan would soon 'realize her mistake'. Mrs Jonathan has no constitutional power to order arrests. BBC News reported another community leader, Saratu Angus Ndirpaya, as saying that Mrs Jonathan accused the activists of fabricating the abductions to give the government a bad name. It reported that she also said the First Lady accused them of supporting Boko Haram.[16] Presently there seems to be people upholding her views on this issue as new situation is putting this scenario as contentious[17]}

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "First Lady, Patience Jonathan Ends Visit To Rivers". Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Network Printing and Publishing Company. 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  2. ^ Onoyume, Jimitota (2013-10-31). "Burial of First Lady's mother: Police beef up security in Port Harcourt". Vanguard. Lagos, Nigeria. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  3. ^ "Patience Jonathan Biography, Children, Funniest Quotes You've Never Heard". BuzzNigeria - Famous People, Celebrity Bios, Updates and Trendy News. 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2018-05-24. 
  4. ^ "Lady of a Nation", Nigeria Stepping Ahead, Toronto, June 2010
  5. ^ a b "Profile: Patience Jonathan". Africa Confidential. 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  6. ^ "Dame Patience Jonathan, the Perm. Sec - Vanguard News". 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  7. ^ 12 July 2012 (12 July 2012). "Bayelsa: Outrage over Patience Jonathan's appointment as Permanent Secretary". Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Knocks trail Patience Jonathan's appointment as Perm Sec - News". Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived 22 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Jonathan's Handpicked Candidate Seriake Dickson Declared Winner Of Bayelsa Gubernatorial Poll". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  11. ^ "Patience Jonathan Biography, Children, Funniest Quotes You've Never Heard". BuzzNigeria - Famous People, Celebrity Bios, Updates and Trendy News. 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2018-05-24. 
  12. ^ "A.Aaruera Reachout Foundation". A.Aaruera Reachout Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  13. ^ Nigeria: Patience Jonathan Leaves German Hospital, Checks Into Hotel, Africa:, 2012, retrieved 18 October 2012 
  14. ^ ADIGUN and GAMBRELL, BASHIR and JON. "OFFICIAL: NIGERIA FIRST LADY HOSPITALIZED ABROAD". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Admin, Web. "Patience Jonathan Is Not Hospitalized, She's Just Resting Abroad — Spokesman". African Spotlight. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  16. ^ "BBCNews reports Nigeria schoolgirl abductions, protest leader detained". BBCNews. Retrieved 2014-05-05. 
  17. ^ "PunchNg report Chibok girls saga is a scam – Christian Women". Punch Newspaper Nigeria. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Turai Yar'Adua
First Lady of Nigeria Succeeded by
Aisha Buhari