Maduekwe ‘reunites’ Patience Jonathan with her ‘son’ Amaechi
The burial of Ojo Maduekwe, a former minister of foreign affairs, at his hometown in Asaga, Ohafia local government area of Abia, on Saturday, was dominated by eulogies from those who knew him.
Those who extolled his virtues include Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia state; Ita Enang, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on national assembly matters; Godswill Akpabio, majority leader of the senate and former governor of Akwa Ibom state; and Mba Uka, prelate of Presbyterian Church.
But it has now emerged that the burial provided the platform for two sworn enemies to meet again; and even if the extent of conciliation that went down is yet to be established, they at least exchanged pleasantries.
For much of Goodluck Jonathan’s full-fledged presidential tenure, he was at loggerheads with Rotimi Amaechi, then governor of Rivers state. However, theirs was a secondary battle. It was clear the real quarrel was between Jonathan’s wife, Patience, and Amaechi, beginning from how the first lady tongue-lashed the governor for conceiving the demolition of houses in her native Okrika to make way for educational structures.
Patience’s grouse is that Amaechi looked certain to demolish and compensate the people without first seeking their consent; Amaechi’s is about the manner in which the first lady addressed the matter in public without according him due respect as man constitutionally saddled with the task of running the state.
The crisis led to bad blood between Amaechi and President Jonathan. The former would later lead six other governors to break away from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and form the nucleus of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which eventually toppled Jonathan at the presidential election.
Although there’s only an eight-year gap between the two of them, Patience once referred to Amaechi — at the heat of their disagreement — as “my son”.
“Hebrews 12:14 urges us to embrace peace with all men without which we cannot see God. Amaechi is my son, I cannot fight him and I cannot kill him,” she said at the villa in 2013 while hosting 16 bishops from the south-south.
“He shouldn’t be used by outsiders against his own blood because this seat is vanity. One day, no matter how long it takes, we will leave this seat.
“Power is not forever; this seat is vanity. Others sat here and left, so one day I will also leave and we will meet at home, so why should I fight him?”