The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has sent out birthday wishes to at least six persons in the month of February but excluded his wife, Aisha Buhari.
Those who have been congratulated by Buhari include: Nigeria’s first female newspaper editor and former Managing Director, Concord Press Nigeria Limited, Dr. Doyin Abiola, who clocked 75 on February 1; Prof of African Religion, Jacob Olupona, who turned 70 on February 6 and veteran journalist and Fellow, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Olusoji Akinrinade, who clocked 70 on February 9.
Others who the President sent out salutations to include- former acting Governor of Taraba State, Sen. Sani Danladi who clocked 53 on February 14; a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Gen. Jeremiah Useni, who turned 78 on February 16; and a former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius, who turned 60 on February 19, 2021.
A birthday message sent to Anyim which was signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm greetings to former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, on his 60th birthday, February 19, 2021, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the political leader, whose rise in public service remains commendable.
“The President congratulates the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation on his many milestones, particularly becoming Senate President at a relatively young age, and handling the responsibility with maturity and wisdom.”
The President, however, did not wish his wife, Aisha, who attained the milestone age of 50, a happy birthday on February 17, 2021.
Aisha has been in Dubai for over five months where her aides claim she is receiving medical treatment.
She has been having a running battle with the President’s aides and close relatives in recent time. In 2019 she accused the President’s nephew, Mamman Daura, of hijacking the Presidency, adding that the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had even issued statements on behalf of the President without his knowledge but based on instructions from Daura.
In 2020, passions reached a climax when security aides to a relative and Personal Assistant to the President, Tunde Sabiu, fired shots inside the Presidential Villa during an altercation with Aisha’s aides.
The first lady has since September 2020 left the Presidential Villa and has remained in Dubai. It, however, remains unclear why the President did not celebrate his wife on her 50th birthday.
Aisha was, however, congratulated by Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his wife, Ibijoke; Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; wife of Imo State Governor, Chioma Uzodimma; wife of Osun State Governor, Kafayat Oyetola; wife of Nasarawa State Governor, Silifat Abdullahi; SA to the President on African First Ladies Peace Mission, Mairo Tanko-Almakura; and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, among others.
Incidentally, Aisha had on December 17, 2020, congratulated her husband on his birthday, saying, “Happy Birthday to my incorruptible GMB. I wish you Allah’s guidance, protection and good health to continue steering the affairs of our dear nation. Long live GMB. Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.”