First Lady Aisha Buhari is turning out worse than Patience Jonathan and Nigerians are tired #Nigeria
First Lady Aisha Buhari is turning out worse than Patience Jonathan and Nigerians are tired
“Dia ris God o” is a famous quote made popular by Nigeria’s former First Lady, Patience Jonathan in the previous administration. In a highlight of the sort of drama, most times in public glare, that defined her ‘reign’ as Nigeria’s First Lady, Patience Jonathan, at the height of the Chibok girl scandal when her husband’s government was still in denial over the abduction of the girls, summoned a televised meeting and cried over the seeming orchestrated moves to blackmail her husband.
Summarily, she too doubted the story of the abduction, suggested certain facts were hidden and blamed some of the people involved for “sharing blood”.
Expectedly, Nigerians were livid and her public outburst became fodder for jokes. It wasn’t the first time the First Lady would be subjected to public criticism and perhaps, ridicule. The Chibok scandal came to define the administration of Goodluck Jonathan as it sparked global outcry and helped the media-savvy opposition party to make a case of incompetence and ineptitude against the government.
Patience Jonathan’s struggle with the English language and tendency to make controversial political statements also led many to believe she was out of control.
Most notably, at a political rally in the South, she was credited to have announced to the crowd that the Southerners are better minded on social conduct than the northerners who “born pikin throway”, a clear reference to the Almajiri problem of the north. This comment provoked a serious backlash and was said to have further cost President Jonathan votes in the north as the statement was reportedly translated and aired on BBC Hausa.
A comparison of First Ladies, in fact, became a point of the campaign for the then-opposition All Progressives Congress who cast Aisha Buhari, wife of Muhammadu Buhari, as ‘educated, reflective and modern’. A twitter page was created and operated for her to reinforce the point.
When INEC announced Muhammadu Buhari as the new President after the general election, many Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief and eagerly bid Goodluck Jonathan and especially Madam Patience goodbye.
However, recent events have shown that Nigerians celebrated too soon. Not only is First Lady Aisha Buhari is just as dramatic, she is in a frenetic power tussle driven by nothing else but a selfish desire of title and the perks that follow.
Aisha Buhari versus the Cabal
Months before Nigerians went to the polls to choose between giving Muhammadu Buhari another term or elect a replacement, Aisha Buhari went public with her conflict against an unnamed cabal and its members when she blamed Nigerians for allowing just three men to seize control of the government from her husband. Implicitly, she called Nigerians gutless for not taking up a fight a lot of Nigerians didn’t even know existed, and exposed her husband as weak and surrendering his mandate to possibly unelected officials.
As it would turn out, especially with more recent outbursts of Aisha Buhari, she was merely tapping into the frustration of many with the slow-paced nature of the Buhari-administration to advance her own personal agenda and combat her political enemies, with Mamman Daura, the President’s nephew the major character. Embarrassingly, some weeks back, videos emerged of the First Lady in a duel with the children of Mamman Daura inside the palatial Villa.
Earlier today, she released a news statement where she excoriated the President’s media aide, Garba Shehu, for purportedly joining forces with the cabal against her before issuing an ultimatum that she clearly lacks the constitutional powers to follow through on.
One of her grouse with Garba Shehu is his refusal to acknowledge her First Lady title and this is surprising given one of President Buhari’s campaign promise was to scrap the office of the First Lady.
Evidently, as opposed to previous thoughts, Aisha Buhari’s ‘courageous battle’ against the cabal is centered on her own extraction of the perks of office and asserting powers she clearly lacks the constitutional rights to possess. Amid rising insecurity, falling economic revenue and growing poverty, bringing this sort of muddy fight to fore is not only insensitive but reeks of lack of restraint and better judgment.
Nigerians were led to believe they turned a corner with the exit of Patience Jonathan but today, they have in their hands a First Lady who is herself a politician and not one to back down from a public territorial fight of influence and office perks while masses grapple with tough socio-economic conditions.