Aisha Buhari doesn’t stand alone

What is wrong with these septuagenarians that have kept recurring like bad decimals on the Nigerian political scene. I have in mind President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor Olusegun Obasanjo. Both of them represent a large proportion of our history of political leadership. They have made mockery of the kitchen and bedroom role of women as if it is not an ordained noble calling in home making and procreation. How did we get the maxim, “behind every successful man, is a woman”? And both men have successfully been Heads of State twice in their lifetime, should we not have been better off for it? In a comment on wife of the President Aisha Buhari’s criticism of her husband’s project delivery and performance, Olusegun Obasanjo urged Lady Aisha, to rather engage the President in a “pillow-talk” in their bedroom. According to Obasanjo, by engaging the president in a ‘pillow-talk’, Aisha would get Buhari’s attention to drive home her displeasure about happenings. Given the grave situation of the country, is this supposed to be some kind of joke? Who best knows a man but his wife? Aisha Buhari is President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, young enough to be his daughter, but his wife, she is. The two by faith, have become one. For over four years today,  the nation has watched the charming First Lady struggling with the spectacle of a leader with great endowment of potential, power and popular support, yet, under performing. That leader happens to be her husband, the father of her wonderful children and President. She is openly exasperated in torment and we have offered her no help except to ask her to engage her husband in pillow talk. What is Aisha’s problem? Her problem is that she sees herself as part and parcel of her husband’s struggle for power. She is a co-bearer of the mission, and vision. She more than all of us, knows how passionate President Muhammadu Buhari is about the aspirations of the mass of Nigerians who voted for him overwhelmingly. She is sure that Buhari is not in Aso Rock to enjoy the appearance and trappings of power but to work assiduously to pull the Nigerian people from the dumps in which she and her husband had found the citizens. She alone hears pillow talk to that effect. To her disappointment, nothing is working as well as it should and she only needs a look through the window of the villa to know. She reads the newspapers, and watches television. The world untampered with by her husband is laid out to her, to whom he returns tired out. She is wont to wander, what has he been busy at?A trip to Aso Rock Clinic revealed that medication and services were not commensurate with budgetary allocations and released funds. She wailed to deaf ears. When Aisha Buhari cried out against a cabal who she said had hemmed in the President at the villa, denying him ample opportunity to exercise his executive powers to run the country and live up to the promises he made at the electioneering, it was to warn her husband, he is not in charge though in the end, he carries the can. On a visit to Germany, President Buhari was accosted by the media which told him of his wife’s concerns, that he had been hijacked by people who were not visible during the electioneering, but had shown up at the villa and serving no functional purpose other than creating a gulf between the man and his people. President Buhari put his wife down with the retort that he did not know what political party she belonged to, but that her role was in his kitchen, and in “the other room”. One can understand Aisha’s pains. Her husband’s influencers had succeeded in getting him to pronounce a no First Lady Status for his Presidency even when Nigerians have come to accept it as tradition after the copied American system of government in practice. Wings clipped, now she is being confined to the kitchen and “the other room.” This is hardly her bargain. Is she not some kind of Evita Peron of Argentina, desirous of using her position as first lady to help her husband realise an agenda for maximised womanhood, and improvement in the lives of the ordinary poor. Did he marry a milk girl or a help meet of the given word with a sense of corporate mission? The turn of events have forced Aisha to make attempts to exonerate her husband from the shortcomings of his Government. And she speaks publicly to raise the alarm that her husband has been taken control of by forces. In all sincerity, Nigerians find this default of abdicating to a cabal of close associates very upsetting. Were the nation faring well, were Buhari meeting the expectations of his potential, this would easily have been forgiven and even overlooked. Being a lone player without his political travel company has proved costly to this day. It made the President lethargic and complacent to the extent that in 2015, the ruling party lost the critical positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to a neo-opposition. Today, President Buhari bemoans how his National Assembly dealt terribly to deny him optimum impact in all of four years. Nigerians agree that Aisha Buhari’s villa traducers the cabal, caused this cancer. When Aisha Buhari disappears from glare, it seems that she has been grounded. Then suddenly she surfaces and drops a bomb citing  governance ineffectiveness adversely affecting the welfare of Nigeria’s common people, instantly striking a note of public conscience. She voices her criticism of the Buhari Regime as if she is outside of it, which indeed she seems to be. Recently just as President Buhari prepared to be sworn in, she tweeted a video of South African populist Malema in a parliamentary advice to President Ramaphosa. It was Malema, but the words were Aisha’s to her husband through public ears. Mrs. Buhari recently suddenly declared that the implementation of Social Investment Programme (SIP) has failed, and the intended purpose of the N500bn scheme has remained unfulfilled. Where is the impact. In Katsina, she reiterated the position and urged her husband to return home and defend the ordinary folks being killed by bandits in the North West of Nigeria. President Buhari had approved N12 billion for the treatment of trauma cases across the country. Where is the money? “The ministers are going very soon and the money has been released”! No. Nigerians do not agree with President Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo. There is more to Mrs Aisha Buhari than the kitchen and the other room. She is raising weightier matters than pillow talk. She deserves to be reckoned with.

Daily trust

Hassan Usman Author

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