Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of the President, has promised to ensure the sustenance of the transformation agenda of Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa.
Jonathan, who made this known after her inauguration as one of the 19 new permanent secretaries in Yenagoa on Friday, lauded Dickson for the appointment.
She said the appointment signpost the administration’s determination to transform the state economically, socially and politically.
``We wish to acknowledge your strategic mobilisation of resources, especially the critical human capital, part of which are our appointments.
``We also assured of our resolve to deploy our collective expertise and experiences to work harder for the collective development of our dear state.
``I wish to personally express my gratitude for the opportunity extended to me to be part of this initiative that will transform the state and bring the gains of democracy to our people,’’ she said.
According to her, I consider this a new beginning for Bayelsa and we will work hard by assisting you to make life more comfortable for the people.
Jonathan told reporters after her inauguration that she felt great, saying: ``I think this is the best thing that can happen to me.”
She thanked Dickson for the confidence reposed in her, adding that her last promotion in the Bayelsa civil service was 13 years ago.
She said that her appointment as permanent secretary was not the first, adding that it had happened to wives of other political office holders.
Jonathan made particular reference to the wives of former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubarkar, former Gov. Peter Odili of Rivers and Gov. Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, who were all judges.
The wife of the president, however, advocated for a constitutional role for the wives of political office holders in the Nigerian constitution.
Earlier, Dickson said due process was followed in the selection and appointment of the new permanent secretaries and that none of them lobbied for it.
Dickson said the Head of Service was given that task to select the most senior public office holders from each of the eight councils as well as the list of the most senior women in service for gender equality.
The governor, who warned the new permanent secretaries not to engage in partisan politics, noted that their appointment was in line with his transformation agenda.