- Denied access to VIP Lounge
- Order allegedly from Presidency
Less than two months after leaving office, wife of immediate past President and First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, suffered ignominy and molestation in the hands of security and other officials at the Port Harcourt International Airport, last Wednesday.
According to eye witnesses, Dame Jonathan was on her way to the burial of her Chief Security Officer, CSO, Tamuno Jacob Igbomie, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who was allegedly shot dead by unknown assailants penultimate Friday. Igbomie’s corpse was found in his Honda Accord car along Airport Road, Abuja, with all his phones, wallet and other personal effects intact in the car.
Last Friday (July 17), the former First Lady arrived at the Port Harcourt International Airport and made for the VIP Lounge as had been the norm and should still be, given her status in the society. However, she was practically locked out and prevented from accessing the lounge.
“All efforts by the former president’s wife and the few people with her to pacify the security agents at the airport to allow the long known protocol to be rebuffed were abortive as they stood their ground swearing that they were acting on orders from Abuja,” said a source.
It was further learnt that on Dame Jonathan’s return from the burial, the same fate attended her with the same excuse, prompting observers to ask if the presidency would give such a directive against the personality and family of the immediate past president.
The DSS also called her orderly to warn the first lady never to use the VIP lounge in any airport in the country to avoid public embarrassment.
Surprisingly, wives of former heads of service of states and the federation freely use the facility.
The former first lady was said to have taken the development with equanimity while she waited to board her flight back to Abuja.
A former vice president who was miffed by the development wondered aloud: “I do not want to believe that the action of the security people was on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari. If it is, Nigerians will fearfully remember the days of the late Idi Amin in Uganda. If commissioners and ex-governors and their immediate families can use airport VIP lounges in the country, what disqualifies Dame Jonathan from using it?”