The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has resigned her appointment as a “Super” Permanent Secretary in the Bayelsa State Civil Service.
It was gathered that the resignation followed alleged final breakdown in relationship between the First Lady and the Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson.
Dickson had in July 2012, five months after his inauguration appointed Patience Jonathan, as one of the 17 new permanent secretaries in the state civil service.
Dickson said the appointment of the First Lady as a permanent secretary was based on the power conferred on him by Section 203 of the constitution.
He further said it was in recognition of her services to the state and nation, adding that she was a directorate level officer in the civil service.
Sources from the Ministry of Education said the 57-year-old Patience Jonathan left the service voluntarily.
One of the sources who pleaded anonymity said the First Lady in her letter of resignation opted for voluntary retirement.
He said the ministry had computed and finalised her terminal benefits already.
When asked the total amount of her terminal benefits, he said: “Well I don’t know. All I can tell you is that everything has been processed.
“The whole thing is political. It appears Madam Peace is not happy with the governor. With her resignation, the battle line has been drawn.
“I feel the President’s wife resigned to enable her to have the moral right to slug it out with Dickson ahead of the governorship poll in the state. Let no one deceive you, the whole thing is politics. After all, she is 57 and the retirement age is 60.”
The wife of the President has a National Certificate of Education in Mathematics/Biology, which she obtained in 1989 from the Rivers State College of Education.
She also has a degree in Biology and Psychology (Education) from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
When contacted, Chief Salo Adikumo, who resigned during the week as Commissioner for Education, said he was no longer the commissioner.
He said: “I resigned recently as commissioner to enable me to pursue my political ambition. Please direct all your enquiries to the Ministry, ” he said.
But, a senior official of the ministry confirmed the development and said it was true the First Lady resigned.
The official, who pleaded anonymity for fear of victimisation, dismissed political reasons for her resignation.
He said: “I can say Dame Patience Jonathan has voluntarily retired. But whether there is political undertone in her resignation, I cannot say.
“I think the First Lady felt that her continued stay as Permanent Secretary will be depriving others. Now that she has thrown in the towel, it will afford others the opportunity to take her position.
“Already, in accordance with the civil service rules, we have prepared all her entitlements. Whatever is due her will be given to her. She will also be receiving her pension.”