Peter Campbell, a former US ambassador to Nigeria, says Patience Jonathan was widely disliked during the period her husband, Goodluck Jonathan, served as the country’s president. In a recent article published on the Council of Foreign Relations website, Campbell described Jonathan as an “arrogant and flamboyant” first lady.
Campbell wrote this in reaction to the probe of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into Jonathan.
The ex-first lady had recently accused Ibrahim Magu, EFCC chairman, of seeking to destroy her family over the role she played during the 2015 election.
The ex-ambassador wrote: “There is push back against President Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign, especially among the opposition People’s Democratic Party. Some claim that Buhari is using the EFCC to go after his political enemies. In the predominately Christian parts of the country there are also murmurs that the anticorruption campaign is part of a Muslim effort against Christians. The Committee on Public Petitions in the House of Representatives has issued a warrant for the arrest of Magu because of his failure to appear before them with respect to a petition by Patience Jonathan. The Committee’s move appears to be led by southern, Christian, PDP representatives.
“There is a tradition in Nigeria of presidents using the EFCC and other anticorruption agencies against their political enemies. While it is true that under President Buhari, most of the high-profile investigations have been of PDP former officials in the Jonathan administration who are predominately Christian, these people were also, of course, in positions where they could loot public funds.
“Further, Christians dominated the Jonathan government, though the EFCC has also investigated Sambo Dasuki, Jonathan’s Muslim national security advisor, who remains under house arrest.
“Patience Jonathan as first lady was flamboyant, arrogant, and widely disliked. She has yet to be convicted of a crime, however, it is curious how a person who spent most of her career in public service could accumulate an acknowledged $35 million in a poor country.”
Campbell, who named the article ‘Resistance to President Buhari’s Anticorruption Campaign’, served as US ambassador to Nigeria from May 2004 to November 2007.