For some presidents or their spouses, managing life out in the real world after leaving presidential palaces isn’t a piece of cake. Unlike in the Western world where the power and influence of a leader’s better half are curtailed to a large extent, many in this clime were different. Same can be said of Nigeria’s immediate past first family, especially the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. Aside her subtle brush with the nation’s leading anti-graft agency, the former first lady seems not to be having the best of time outside the very prestigious life as nation’s leading woman. She has really stepped down her public engagements after a period out of the spotlight. Unlike in the past, when she relished life living in people’s faces, Dame Jonathan has been out of public view. In fact, her birthday last weekend was just like any ordinary day with no pomp or usual pleasantries people used to accord her in the past, prompting theories about her absence and one resounding question: Where’s Mama Peace?
Among the reasons for the question was the former first lady’s conspicuous absence at her best friend and billionaire business titan, Hajia Bola Shagaya’s lavish 60th birthday party both in Abuja and Lagos. So many people had expected to see the once insidious first lady but they were all disappointed when she was neither around to party with Shagaya and their old friends nor sent a representative. Even at the superlative birthday dinner held penultimate weekend at the prestigious Eko Convention Centre to usher her into the Diamond Club, quite a number of dignitaries from the various sectors of the economy were on hand to join the oil mogul in celebrating her new age. However, Dame Jonathan was conspicuously missing from the array of A-list guests.
For many who don’t know, Shagaya and Patience Jonathan were best of friends. So close did the two become that Patience hardly attended any event without the company of Bola. They took their friendship to another level when they both began to appear at events dressed alike. But all that chummy relationship came to an abrupt halt when the Jonathan-led government got ousted. With both, at various times, having to face some issues with the anti-graft agency, their hanging around together at events and coordinated dressing between them subsided. Nevertheless, many expected to catch a glimpse of the former first lady at the diamond celebration of the business baroness but it appears they will have to wait for a longer time to see them together again.