AISHA BUHARI AT 50: WHEN THE MOTHER OF THE NATION ABANDONS HER HUSBAND, THE COUNTRY
When the going was good…..
For five months now, Aisha Buhari, wife of the Nigerian president has been out of the country.
Like many other top government functionaries, who leave and you hardly hear a word, no one has deemed it fit to explain to Nigerians why their beloved First Lady has dumped the nation and relocated abroad.
While extremists have claimed that her marriage to the Nigerian leader has hit the rocks and that their relationship is at its lowest ebb, others have argued that she simply could no longer stomach what was happening in the corridors of power having raised an alarm during the first term of her husband in office that the man was indeed not in charge.
But Aisha Buhari is not the only member of the First family that is not in Nigeria. her daughters are also believed to be in Dubai where she has been for about five months now. Given the exigencies of her office, there is no doubt that she has left a vacuum. This writer cannot imagine a normal leader, who, given the pressures that such office as leading Nigeria exerts without the cooling presence of someone who would always provide a shoulder to cry on.
Or is the Nigerian President so withdrawn from reality that he does not even miss the presence of his wife? Or was the relationship ceremonial ab initio? Or is there someone else in the picture?
Even if it were an arrangee marriage that was to cover up loopholes, there is no doubt that what was being covered has been unintentionally exposed. Buhari is running Nigeria without the normal touch of a family man. And I mean, no woman in his home to ask him, ‘why are women and children being killed everyday and what are you doing about it?’
Nigeria is used to many things other nations may found abhorable. And Nigerians take many things for granted. But on small things like this, they may not demand an answer but it really REVEALS to what extent the leadership of the nation, the ruling party and all it stands for hold Nigerians. Nobody really cares what and how Nigerians feel again. Nobody bothers to give explanations, tenable or not. After all, they are in power, and by inference, you never really voted them in anyway so your votes may not be relevant next time either.
I can’t imagine the First Lady of USA dumping the country and relocating abroad.
Day by day, Nigerians get to understand Buhari more and regret or appreciate what they voted for.
Aisha Buhari was not on the ballot but she surely helped many Nigerians in making their choice by climbing the soapbox with her husband. While home in Nigeria, she exhibited uncommon courage reserved not for First Ladies but for opposition figures. She came out to criticise government agencies, the APC and even her husband’s performance. She opened can of worms on decision making in the Presidency and how a cabal could take hold of the President and blindfold him to the reality of a Nation in distress. She did more damage to APC and its government than the opposition PDP by exposing how money changed hands for party tickets during the primaries, threatened to abandon her. husband politically because he had failed to fulfill campaign promises.
Since she last spoke on all these, things have gone worse. The money-sharing thing has assumed a more national glee, we now have a ministry in charge yet, there is nothing to show for the trillions shared except more poverty.
The cabal has lost some members and recruited others, thus maintaining their stranglehold on her husband. The rot in public health facilities like State House Clinic has been further exposed by Covid-19.
What more can we say?
The mother of the nation jumped ship maybe because she realised that her expectations from the man she calls a husband are not being met and it was better she didn’t witness the humiliating unraveling of the Buhari she wrapped in borrowed robes and sold to us.
Nigeria, welcome to your new reality.
– Bamidele Akinola