The Nigerian First Lady, Aisha Buhari, is a combination of brain and beauty. Nigeria has had many first ladies but this one is perhaps the first first lady with a good academic background and radical outspoken mien. A graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria Kaduna state the President’s second wife hails from Adamawa state. She was brought to national limelight when the rogue Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, wrongfully alleged that she was the same and only “Aisha Buhari” involved in the Halliburton scandal in America. Fayose even challenged her to pay a visit to the States if she was not afraid of the American judicial system — something she did some weeks back without any repercussions. Fayose was proved a liar once more!
When the wild allegation came up the first lady picked offense and harshly tackled the Ekiti controversial man enjoying a purloined gubernatorial mandate. She called him “the unchained mad dog” with which she was ready to engage. Today the truth is out vindicating our first lady and exposing Fayose for what he is: a fraud! Now that the fugitive former Minister cum Ambassador, Musiliu Obanokoro, is back home from his US hiding place and in the EFCC custody the Ekiti loudmouth must be having some sleepless nights, quietly praying to his god for political survival since his returning partner-in-crime has spilled the beans about the famous ‘Ekitigate’.
Before Aisha Buhari Nigeria has had some first ladies; some courting the limelight and others controversy. One (Stella Obasanjo) even died in ‘office’ trying to impress her husband aesthetically by going for a tummy tuck surgery in Spain that turned out to be her last outing in the land of the living. Before the late Stella, we had had the late affable Maryam Babangida who mesmerized us with her beauty and her solid conjugal support base when Gen. Ibrahim Babangida was in charge from Dodan Barracks in Lagos to Aso Rock in Abuja.
Post-Babangidaism we were treated to a spectacle of marital infidelity when the late Gen. Sani Abacha allowed himself to be ‘assassinated’ by an imported Indian prostitute! Mariam Abacha, now in Kano, never knew what to make of the sudden demise of the dictator who was defiant until his last breath. The beautiful Mariam must be asking herself what she ‘lacked’ anatomically that must have pushed the ‘Khalifa’ to want to ‘discover’ another Eve with a different pigmentation. Alas, some men are insatiable both sexually and materially and the late Abacha fell in that category.
Before Aisha took up residence in the Aso Villa, we were complaining of the damned ‘Dame-disease’ in our national life. “Mama Peace” was both the overbearing first lady (who sometimes broke protocol) and Permanent Secretary in far away Bayelsa state! She goofed and committed innumerable gaffes; she was involved in fiscal heists and official corruption that was the hallmark of her husband’s administration. She was in love with filthy lucre and scandals broke every now and then concerning her exploits. Mrs Jonathan’s cupidity was unrivalled in the history of first lady-ship in Nigeria!
Today millions of dollars discovered in some banks in Lagos and elsewhere by the EFCC reportedly belonging to her or her cronies still constitute subjects of litigation and controversy. Some of the accounts were opened with the particulars of housemaids or aides who did not know they ‘owned’ such bank accounts containing hefty deposits! Patience Jonathan was audacious and domineering during the GEJ presidency. Married to a former Deputy Governor turned President she was intoxicated with power and proved to be difficult to handle by the meek man from Otuoke
But before the Dame (who told us she had ‘died’ many times in German hospitals undergoing surgeries after surgeries) we had a taciturn Turai Yar’Adua whose husband died in office while discreetly nursing a terminal ailment. Turai had wanted to seize power with her crooked associates but a Goodluck happened instead sending the woman to Katsina to properly mourn her departed husband. Tural and Patience at one point tussled over a piece of land in Abuja!
Recently Aisha Buhari granted a controversial interview to the Hausa service of the BBC. Before the programme could even be aired we read online reports of desperate moves by people at the corridors of power to stop its airing. But the BBC management stood their ground amidst pressure and subtle intimidation from official quarters in Nigeria. And when it was finally aired hell was let lose. So, what did Aisha say that has somewhat transform her into a celebrity worldwide?
Did she say, for instance, that the President was a ‘Yan Daudu’? Or that the presidential poll that brought him to office was rigged in his favour? Or that the retired General had emptIed the national treasury? Or that Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu would be freed soonest? Or that Abubakar Shekau had been captured alive in the Sambisa forest? Or that Ibrahim Babangida was planning another coup d’etat against Buhari? No! None of that was cvorrect.
In that interview Aisha had strongly accused an unnamed cabal, made up of individuals from the northern part of the country that were not part of the struggle for Buhari’s emergence as President, of having hijacked the Presidency! Expressing her frustration the first lady went ahead to threaten not to support any attempt by her husband to re-contest in 2019 if things remained the same. She hit the bull’s eye! But the question begging to be asked is this: is the presidential task so bewildering that the President would want to cede control of power to the forces his wife was alluding to? Is there a government within the PMB goverment as the embattled Senate President had alleged?
President Buhari’s response to his wife’s apt censure was indeed graceless if not baffling. Dismissing what she said by alluding to her place being in his kitchen and bedroom and the other room (jocularly or otherwise) is disingenuous. It smacked of hubris and chauvinism! The politics of bedroom or kitchen should not have been played in the first place if things were normal. Sounding dismissive in the face of a probable connubial challenge, nay rebellion ought not be the best way to appreciate a bombshell released from the homefront.
If the truth be told Aisha is more exposed and educated than her husband so the presidential couple ought to unify efforts to rescue Nigeria from the grip of prinicipalities and powers in high places rather than washing their dirty linens in the public arena. In any case, our solidarity lies with the woman in the President’s kitchen and bedroom and not the man suffering from a gender superiority complex!
The presidential amazon has indeed made her point in that controversial BBC interview. The President ought to draw certain conclusions and give heed to her candid opinion, which we agree with. The beautiful ‘rebel’ in the Villa has spoken her mind and those of millions, voiceless, helpless and hopeless, through whose votes Buhari was made presidentially. We commend her for her uncommon courage and stand for the truth. Nepotism is a form of moral corruption!