No condition is permanent. Not even that of permanent secretaries. But when you apply that theorem to two grace-endowed variables, the equation dissolves into an almighty formula. There is much royal chemistry between the exalted position of First Lady and the demanding post of Permanent Secretary with insurance in the celestial biology of patience and good luck.
True, women like to be first in all things. But they, especially the married ones, prefer firsts that are permanent. Ask Nigerian stand-up comedians, and they would lay claim to the copyright. And I, as a sit-down comedian, can play the copycat. At our glamorous church services, during praise worship, unmarried women, desperately searching for husbands, prefer to sing “Do something new in my life.” But the married ones, especially those married to men of position, power and authority, would rather sing “It shall be permanent.”
Between the positions of First Lady and Permanent Secretary, which one radiates a bigger aura of permanence? The position of First Lady is an attire; that of Permanent Secretary is a career. Once a PermSec, always a PermSec. But once a First Lady, always a First Lady? I dare you to mime that before any reigning First Lady. As a matter of fact, or if you like, as a matter of land, an out-of-court settlement is the best a First Lady who had a Foundation could obtain against a First Lady who has a Mission.
It is written: With patience and good luck, all things are possible. President Goodluck Jonathan probably never imagined becoming Nigeria’s Number One citizen when he was made deputy governor. But here was an anointed man who had good luck following him all the days of his life. During the political tragic-comedy that trailed the unfortunate illness of his boss, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, many wanted him to apply the koboko placed in his hands by virtue of his position as acting president. But he held on patiently until Yar’Adua finally lost the battle and he became substantive president. See what patience enveloped in good luck can do!
In February, 1976, one Bukar Sukar Dimka came to scatter out buka at Dodan Barracks, Obalende, Lagos. In the aftermath of the bloodshed, good luck smiled on one young military officer affectionately called Uncle Sege, who had been minding his own business patiently as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, to the slain General Murtala Muhammed. He was made Head of State.
When maximum ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, put the man of good luck out of circulation, he waited patiently in prison, where he “actually passed through the valley of the shadow of death.” There Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar went to anoint him, like the Biblical Joseph, civilian executive president. All these blessings he claimed without lifting even a finger. See the tight chemistry between patience and good luck.
Then he became Ebora Owu. Eboras are not known to be legends in the world of patience. He began to hassle and thus forgot to let Nigerians know what he was later asking for was actually a fourth and not a third term, having served his first term between 1976 and 1979. With his patience on compulsory leave, he bungled the goodwill that trails good luck which hardly operates where there is no patience.
In the Holy Bible of Otuoke, Nigeria has a Dame, a lady of power, glamour and grandeur, of whom it is written: Patience and good luck shall follow you all the days of your life. As a lady, you shall be first. In your career, you shall also be first. And your first shall be permanent. No criticism fashioned against you shall prosper. You shall stand before kings and governors and take oaths in pursuit of your career. Your devotion to your career shall never debar you from fully discharging your matrimonial responsibilities. You are blessed.
And so, how important it is for her to discharge her PermSec duties in Bayelsa State diligently and efficiently and yet does not have to spend a night outside Aso Rock! The old American pop music star foresaw this when he sang: “I don’t think that men should sleep alone.” That was even ordinary men; how much more the Man of men! And God forbids that anyone else, other than the First Lady prepares meals for the First Gentleman.
With patience and good luck already in her kitty, what she need in addition is to polish her culture of hard work. This she must have embraced from her recent guest, Lady Joyce Banda of Malawi, who, in addition to being president, also doubles as her own First Lady. All our Dame, the Dame of African Dames, needs do is wake up early enough to prepare two meals, serve breakfast and preserve lunch in a presidential cooler. She then heads for the airport to connect her flight by 7.30 a.m. and arrive at her desk at Yenegoa in another hour.
Leaving the state capital even by 5.00 p.m. gets her back to Aso Rock early enough to prepare dinner. All that is required is a permanent assignment of a new aircraft in the presidential fleet to the project. Before you start your lousy criticism again, get yourself schooled in pertinent information. Visit www.I-don’t-give-a-damn.gov.ng and download the hyperlink “Bayelsa Career.”
Being a career woman, the First Lady would have succeeded in making her status as a lady secretary and her position at the home front permanent. And so, it’s big congratulations to the First Permanent Lady Secretary, Dame Dr. Patience Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s first permanent lady secretary.
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