In this piece, Shaibu analises the recent exposition of the First Lady about powerful duo hijacking her husband’s government.
Shaibu bases his piece on this to conclude that Buhari has failed and needs not be re-elected.
The recent lamentation by Nigeria’s first lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, that there are two powerful people literally holding her husband hostage and frustrating whatever efforts the Nigerian President may have desired to make in order to improve his governance credentials did not come as a surprise to many Nigerians.
Mrs. Buhari is no stranger to this kind of sabre rattling on the ineptitude and helplessness of her husband’s presidential powers, his grip and impact on the key decisions that have shaped and defined his administration in the last three and half years.
In fact, many interpret his now infamous “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody,” to really mean that President Buhari never even intended to act as president for one day and that this is one presidency that would be neither here nor there, everywhere and nowhere, visible yet ineffectual, present yet absentee in nature and action; all of which have lent further weight to the complaints of the First Lady that other people and not her husband are indeed in charge of Nigeria.
Those who have followed her will recall that her almost un-first-ladylike alarms, raised at critical periods in the journey of her husband’s presidency, have often been pointers confirming what many Nigerians already know, which is that President Buhari is not and has never been in charge of running Nigeria since his inauguration on May 29, 2015.
And this assessment of her attitude to her husband’s presidency came to fore once again when Mrs. Buhari, who spoke at a conference organised by Project 4+4 in Abuja, reportedly accused two persons, whose names she did not however mention, as constituting themselves into a cog in the wheel of President Buhari’s plans to develop Nigeria, more than he has done so far.
According to the report, Mrs. Buhari lamented that her husband could have achieved more or even achieved all he had planned in one year, but for two people in government who will never allow things to move fast. The President’s wife said that she was disappointed in men who rather than fight these two men will go to them in the night begging for favour.
In her words, the Nigerian first lady said: “I have realized that Senator Babafemi Ojodu, Special Adviser, political, to the President, and Dr. Hajo Sani, and wife of the Vice President, Mrs Osinbajo, are not comfortable with my saying this and want me to confine myself to my prepared speech but we must say the truth.” The President’s wife then insisted that the powerful duo were retrogressive elements preventing the government from moving forward.
While we can take the allegation at face value as the unhappiness of a first lady whose assumed powers and influence as first lady, as we have witnessed with previous presidents’ wives before her, have been unceremoniously clipped, by those who are more powerful than her, Nigerians must look at her statements in the proper context of national governance, which is that after all said and done, the Buhari administration has failed abysmally in the last three and half years, as a result of a cabal that has slowed down our development in Buhari’s administration.
The allegations that a cabal is in charge of the presidency, is as old as the Buhari administration itself and the first hint was given when Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, during one of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, alleged that a powerful cabal within the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government had hijacked power from the retired general.
Mrs. Buhari herself got into the cabal fray, when she gave an interview to BBC Hausa service in 2016, and raised alarm that President Buhari’s government has been hijacked by cabal who are “behind presidential appointments.”
Mrs. Buhari was to raise another storm, this time in the social media in 2017, when she openly affirmed that those she referred as hyenas and jackals who had taken advantage of her husband’s illness to annex the president’s powers to themselves, would sooner than later be sent out of the kingdom of Aso Rock.
Her comments which were made on her Facebook page, while she was in London to visit her then sick husband, reads thus: “God has answered the prayers of the weaker animals. The hyenas and the jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals.”
However, from her latest rant against the cabal, it’s obvious that the weaker animals are still in bondage, a situation which played out when she openly went against the leadership of her husbands’ fractured political party, APC, after her brother Mahmud Halilu, was deliberately denied the Governorship ticket of Adamawa state and compelled to step down for Governor Jibrilla Bindow, by those she angrily described as ‘the cabal.’
In all analysis, the conclusion to be drawn from the statements and actions of Nigeria’s first lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, is that the political fate and destiny of Nigeria and Nigerians today, are in the hands of two persons, working in concert with a few more people, and the result is the clueless, confused, directionless and amorphous government, which has left Nigeria much worse than the country was when they took over.
Aisha Buhari has simply given Nigerians one more reason why they should vote for a government that is focused, fixed, inclusive and participatory. A government which, as has been defined in “the AtikuPlan,” to get Nigeria working again, will ensure that the interest, welfare, well being and goodwill of all Nigerians will be at the centre of every action and decision of the leadership and not the interest and selfishness of two persons, who have hijacked Nigeria for themselves at the expense and suffering of the rest of the people.
The only politician now, who has the capacity, capability, intelligence and experience to break this wicked hold of a few people on Nigeria is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the formidable pan-Nigerian coalition of seasoned and tested leaders, who are now poised to liberate Nigeria from the cabal and open up the country to growth and development which two people have prevented President Buhari from achieving in his four years as Nigeria’s President, according to his wife.
By Phrank Shaibu
Shaibu, is S.A Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar