To Be President, Dine With Aisha Buhari, President’s wife
By Ikeddy ISIGUZO
One more example of how deep we have fallen is the stunt of the President’s wife inviting presidential aspirants to the traditional breaking of the fast with her.
There is no indication of the invitation being at the instance of the President who may even be unaware of what his wife is doing.
Whether in tradition or religion, the invitation is unique. Those who honour it would have decided to add one more god to the numerous ones to worship as they aspire to lead Nigeria.
It could be safe to suggest that the dinner must be one of the big ideas she harnessed from her sojourn abroad. Her CV will have this as one of her achievements in eight years. No First Lady in a civilian administration has done two terms, another Aisha milestone in Nigeria’s first ladyship.
The invitation is at a time the parties do not have candidates, only aspirants. It serves no purpose except to return Aisha Buhari to the public’s attention again. After the weddings and her occasional intrusions in national conversations, she needs to remind us she is still around.
May 2023 is the terminal date of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Aisha Buhari minimised her involvements long ago. She told the media that she was persuaded to campaign for her husband’s second term in 2019.
Her absences have been long, predictable, and unprecedented. The social media was awash with invitations in October 2019 to the President’s wedding apparently to fill a vacuum. A supposed bride was named, date fixed, then the matter fizzled.
Aisha’s challenges could be personal or political but only public when she makes one of her several efforts to tell us she had been pushed to the fringes of the administration.
She has had brushes from the President’s media team over her utterances and some incidents in the presidential villa.
Aisha Buhari has lived abroad permanently for years, said little about Nigerian issues and abandoned the women. At least her predecessors made a show of raising issues that affected women.
In fairness to Aisha, she knows about shows and substance. She has chosen shows too though too occasional that they regularly pale to insignificance.
Was she not at the National Assembly to demand passage of some bills for increased representation of women in parliament? Of course, it was a show. When the hearings made the rounds of the country she was not around. Her absence was not the reason for the bills not passing, but for her to be at the National Assembly on the day the reports were submitted had no substance.
Her absences have brought instabilities to Office of the First Lady which Buhari promised to abolish at the inception of the administration. Staff are sacked, redeployed, new ones appointed by the President as was the case in February with Sani Zorro “as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs and Strategy, Office of the First Lady.” That is how an official statement announced it.
What will a dinner with the President’s wife offer? Who will attend without their phones, as Aisha commanded? And obviously without their wives, unless they are aspirants.
What will Aisha tell them? Will the President’s wife endorse an aspirant? It is worth keeping an eye on them as they eat mostly behind the camera.
A little advice, if her visit is a little longer, the President’s wife could invite aspirants for governor, parliaments across Nigeria to more dinners. If the State House banquet hall cannot take them, the under-utilised National Stadium can serve. The inexhaustible stores of the State House would ensure they are fed well.
One more amendment to the Electoral Act to make attendance at the Aisha dinners compulsory could be the elixir to the 2023 elections.
BELLO Matawalle of Zamfara State tackles banditry by donating vehicles to leaders of “repentant” bandit groups, more luxurious versions to traditional rulers, still more vehicles to the Governor Maradi in Niger Republic to patrol Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic, all within a month.
On realising these may not work, Matawalle has sent 97 clerics from the State on pilgrimage to pray solely for security in Zamfara. Expect other States to imitate the Zamfara model.
SHOCKS at what happened or didn’t happen at Chrisland Schools are sheer pretence. When children were killed, kidnapped, or damaged in schools what did we do? Our society does not care about the future, the children.
Evidences – rejecting the Child’s Rights Act of 2003, indifference to unsafe media contents, promotion of unsafe schools. There is work to do beyond the din.
MANY politicians now see why ownership of the party’s national headquarters is more profitable than elective positions. At N100m per presidential aspirant, N50m for those who want to be Governors, N20m if you hope to be a Senator, over N5 billion would make its way to the coffers of the All Progressives Congress, APC. It is someone’s money. Nobody accounts for party funds, APC is no exception.
AFTER pulling words like chieftain, stakeholders into dubious meanings, politicians are attracted to “consensus”. By the time they are done with it, consensus will require more careful usage.
*Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues