Patience Jonathan

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Patience Faka Jonathan (nee Oba) was born on 25th October 1957. She is a former First Lady of Nigeria and the wife of former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. She served as a permanent secretary in her native Bayelsa State.


Born in Port Harcourt, she earned her school certificate in 1976, and passed the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in 1980. In 1989, she obtained the National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Mathematics and Biology from the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt. She then proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt and studied for a B.Ed in Biology and Psychology. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Port Harcourt.


Jonathan started her career as a teacher at the Stella Maris College, Port Harcourt and at the Sports Institute Isaka. She then moved to the banking sector in 1997. She served as Marketing Manager of Imiete Community Bank. After which she established the first community bank in Port Harcourt called the Akpo Community Bank. She returned to the classroom briefly again as a teacher. Eventually she was transferred to the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, where she served until 29 May 1999 when her husband became the Deputy Governor of the state. On 12 July 2012, she was appointed as permanent secretary in Bayelsa state by Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, The appointment was unique considering she had been on leave from the civil service for over 13 years, since her husband became deputy governor in 1999, and some critics argued it was a national embarrassment highlighting there was no merit or evidence of any recent performance to warrant a promotion to the peak of the civil service. It is alleged that Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson was sponsored to his governorship position by her husband . First Lady of Nigeria (2010 - 2015).

She and her husband have two children - Arewera Adolphus Jonathan (a boy) and Aruabi Jonathan (a girl)

Philanthropic work

Patience Faka Jonathan has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for her philanthropic work and political pragmatism. She received the "Beyond The Tears" International Humanitarian Award New York, USA, in 2008, for her role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS; the African Goodwill Ambassador Award (Los Angeles, USA, 2008) and was the recipient of the "Wind of Change" Award from the South/South Women’s Organization.

When Goodluck Jonathan served as Governor between 2005 and 2007, Patience Jonathan served the state in the capacity of the first Lady of Bayelsa State. During this period, she founded many philanthropic and women empowerment programs, among them are the A-Aruere Reachout Foundation (AARF), which she set up to improve the status and earning capacity of Nigerian women and youths. The foundation already has its focus on supporting and assisting children with heart-related problems.


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