The wife of the Nigerian President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has again complained of a cabal “dominating” her husband’s government which is suggesting her husband President Muhammadu Buhari many not be in full control of the administration.
Mrs Buhari used the occasion of the National Women Leadership Summit held at Abuja to lunch a tirade against “two or three powerful men” who she said were “hindering the collective teamwork” of the government.
The summit was organised by Project 4+4, a political pressure group affiliated with the ruling All Progressives Congress and devoted to the re-election of President Buhari.
She said all the government achieved in four years could have been achieved in just one year but for the retrogressive influence of the cabal.
The First Lady lamented, “We formed government after defeating an incumbent for the first time in the history of Nigeria, we were expecting a team work. All the achievements people have been singing about could have been achieved within one year.
“But it happened that we were dragging up to this fourth year.
“We believe in teamwork. We believe in government of inclusion. People should not relent, should continue to fight, talk against the few that dominate this government.
“Our votes were 15.4 million in the last election and only for us to be dominated by two people that hinders the collective teamwork that we have started – this is totally unacceptable. Where are the Nigerian men? What are you doing?
“They should continue to say no, because this is about the future, not of my age or my husbands’ age, but our children and grandchildren”.
Mrs Buhari however fell short of mentioning specifically the names of these powerful individuals she refers to.
During her speech, Political Adviser to the President, Senator Babafemi Ojodu tried to signal the First Lady to move away from her tirade, but she rebuked him, “I have realized that Senator Babafemi Ojodu, and Dr. Hajo Sani, my aide, Sajo, and wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Osinbajo, are not comfortable with me saying this and want me to confine myself to my prepared speech, but we must say the truth.”
This is not the first time the president’s wife is alluding to powerful persons having overbearing influence in the Buhari government.
In an interview with BBC Hausa in October 2016, Aisha claimed that the government had been hijacked by only a “few people”, who were behind presidential appointments. According to her, the president did not know most of the officials he appointed. The First Lady stated then that people who did not share the vision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were appointed to top posts because of the influence of a “few people”.
Her words: “The president does not know 45 out of 50 of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years. Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position,” she said.
When the BBC interviewer asked her to name those who hijacked the government, the First Lady decline, saying simply, “You will know them if you watch television.” Asked whether the president was in charge, Mrs. Buhari responded, “That is left for the people to decide.”
Buhari’s Critics Ask Nigerians to pay attention
Critics of the government are watching closely these repeated complaints of the First Lady’s. Reacting to the news, former aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode tweeted,
The First Lady's claim that the FG has been highjacked by 2 men and that her husband's supporters should find the guts to confront and wrestle back power from them is alarming.Exactly who is running our nation?Almost 200 million of people and we don't know who runs our country!
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) December 7, 2018
Whatever the case we deserve answers. It is time for President Buhari to conduct a national television broadcast and clear the air. Nigeria has become a laughing stock and the butt of cruel "clone" jokes all over the world over the last few days. It is unbearable and shameful.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) December 7, 2018
Reacting also, Pastor Reno Omokri, who served as the head of new media to the former president Goodluck Jonathan tweeted,
If @aishambuhari, the wife and closest person to @MBuhari, tells you openly on video, that 2 unelected men control her husband and his government, should that not alert you that a vote for Buhari is a vote for those 2 men? I assure you, even Aisha will vote for @Atiku #RenosDarts
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) December 7, 2018
Here is video of the remarks of the wife of the president at the National Women Leadership Summit.