Aisha Buhari a true patriot

Aisha Buhari a true patriot

Monday, October 24, 2016 11:22 am

Aisha Buhari

Aisha Buhari

By Mofe Oluwashola Jeje

The shocking revelation made by the Nigerian first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari during an interview with the BBC Hausa service regarding the need for Mr. president to shake-up his government because 45 out of 50 people the president appointed are not known to him nor her, suggests the commencement of the fascist agenda and the underlying struggle to once again, as happened in immediate successive governments, control the soul of Nigeria’s helpless president.

If anyone is in doubt, the senseless call by an Islamic Sheikh, Ismail Illyasu Mangu on Friday 14th October, 2016 directing security agencies in Nigeria to arrest the first lady for the comment she made on BBC service, is a disturbing signpost of where the president’s soul is leaning, and a clear evidence of the direction the country is taking under his watch.

The questions on the lips of millions of Nigerians are: At whose instance did the Islamic cleric call for the arrest of the first lady? Where did he derive the power to do so? Is the cleric’s position to do so, guaranteed in the elaborate provisions of the of the Nigerian constitution? Whose interest was he serving? Is it the interest of the president whose wife should be arrested by security operatives for daring to expose the activities of the fascist oligarchy that has hijacked the government and now control the president from outside? Or that of the 45 political appointees? Wait a minute! Why should she be arrested and what for? This call is either borne out of ignorance or the disdain and unchanged mindset which he holds about democratic values.

Except for stating and maintaining that his wife’s role was in the kitchen and other room, the president has neither said anything to caution and call the Islamic cleric to order nor dissociate himself from such a call. This posture of indifference robustly validates the assertion made by the first lady that the Buhari government, as presently constituted, has been hijacked, and that the president is not in charge. Thus, this development has left a lot of Nigerians wondering and thinking if this a sign of weakness on the part of the president or a sign that the president has played into the hands of those who want him to promote sectional agenda?

Whichever the case, it seems to me that history is about to repeat itself. In retrospect, before the interregnum occasioned by the rumor of ill-health of the late former president Musa Yar’Adua, when all men minsters were afraid to speak and playing dummies, it was a woman minister, late professor Dora Akunyili, the then minister of Information who, amidst all cover-ups, bravely came out to confirm the ill-health of the late former president and also informed Nigerians that the government has been hijacked.

At this point, it is important to let Nigerians know that the same set of politicians that the first lady Aisha Buhari talked about during the BBC interview were the same set of people who stole Yar’Adua’s government and fraudulently signed the supplementary budget of 2010 while the late president was receiving treatment in far-away Saudi Arabia hospital. Since then, this fascist group that committed this treasonable act against the Nigerian state has neither been convicted nor brought to justice. They are influential, almost untouchable and very ingenious in their sinister and criminal enterprise. May be that is why the first lady wouldn’t mention their names and the president who knows these predators that his wife does not know, is helplessly defending them and reportedly advising his wife to stay out of politics.

The courage by Mrs. Aisha Buhari to speak-up and express an opinion that threatens her personal comfort, first as a wife and second as first lady, is commendable. No one in her position has ever spoken against a government in which she is part of. This is an act of bravery, a very rare one at that, very unprecedented in the history of this country for a first lady to confront and challenge those that are bent on misguiding her husband, Mr. president, to undermine and do away with electoral promises made to Nigerians. Indeed, the first lady Aisha Buhari is a patriot, a true one per excellence. This not about insubordination, but about keeping faith with the oath of office and staying true to the sanctity of the electoral promises made to Nigerians. As a good wife, she wants the president to succeed and not be corrupted and desecrated by a fascist and power hungry political elite whose vision is based on misguided, archaic and parochial understanding about the secularity of the Nigerian state. Their practice of misogyny is unparalleled, and disdainfully so, that they hardly give respect to the place of women in society much less in political development.

Mr President you would recall that your wife, the first lady was not in the kitchen when you got on the campaign train across the country to campaign and seek people’s vote. She was all out with you doing her bid to get you the support of women who constitute 51 per cent of the Nigerian population. In fact, she was not in the living room and other room when she, on your behalf took on the Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose who became unnecessarily critical of your government for every little thing. For the record, it was her support through the Nigerian women, along with the support and political machine of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that gave you the edge to ride to power and unseat the corrupt and clueless government of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. If in doubt, please, check the political permutations and electoral mapping before and during the 2015 general elections. You couldn’t have done it all on your own and alone. Remember, the difference was just 2 million votes.

Going forward, placing the office of the first lady on restriction because of her perception and opinion about your government is un-presidential. This will not help but largely hurt the project of your administration, dubbed change starts with me.You must be seen doing and exhibiting the change you want to see in the country. For it to resonate across the country, even to the grassroots, your rallying political slogan, I am for everybody and not for anybody, must not be seen to be at variance with your actions, body language and perception. As an elder statesman who pledged the oath of allegiance to one corporate Nigeria and the indivisibility of the Nigerian state, you will need to do away with anything and everything that divides the country, in addition to doing more by reaching to change the widely held belief among Nigerians who see you as a figure that promotes sectional agenda. This view is sponsored by the many comments you made before you assumed office to become the president, and more recently by the tacit enabling posture you demonstrated during the raids and attacks by Fulani herdsmen (cattle herders) who killed hundreds of people and sacked villages and farmlands across the country.

Mofe Oluwashola Jeje, the former Executive Director of Commonwealth Information & Action Network (CIAN) writes from the United States.

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