Nigeria’s fifth president, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) is not your regular politician. He does not believe in the time consuming finesse of politics, due process and democracy.
Even as an elected president, he is yet to come to terms with the concept of separation of powers, neither does he comprehend why his not very effective and efficient social and economic policies will be opposed by those who, for 16 years, ran the country aground. As far as he is concerned, those opposed to him are either corrupt or aiding corruption and will bear the consequence of their actions.
Because of him, Nigeria is in coma; the once vibrant media is stifled, the opposition emasculated and the people live in fear of political terrorism unleashed by overzealous aides too eager to please him.
Curiously, the once opposition leader with a sizable cult follower-ship has forgotten that without opposition, democracy is dead. There is also a credible doubt if indeed he appreciates the golden rules of politics: ‘Do not kill your opponent, and stay clear from their spouse or children’. Every good politician strives to live by these rules as those who don’t, end up ingloriously.
The memory of Gen Sanni Abacha would have been better served if he and his goons had stayed clear of Kudirat Abiola. I also wish that the goons working hard to make our ‘oga in Aso-Rock ‘ happy stay clear of Fani-Kayode’s wife, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and other spouses of opposition politicians. A word is enough for the wise.
Over the years, I have resisted the temptation to write on the spouse or children of politicians I am opposed to except I have something positive to say about them.
On Aisha Buhari, I must confess that I never expected her to go public with her frustration with her husband’s government. It’s audacious for her to speak the way she did.
When the social media promoted the highlights of her BBC interview, my first reaction was disbelief because I grew up to learn that the press has its way with headlines. I only came to terms with the interview after watching the full video clip where she revealed that her husband’s government has been hijacked by a cabal. She threatened that she would not go out to campaign again if things continue like this up to 2019.
The president’s wife didn’t say anything new, as she only re-echoed the concerns of many Nigerians with the only difference being that she is the wife of the president.
Sadly, in a country where the first casualty of every intelligent conversation is the truth, Aisha has come under fire for speaking the truth to power. She is vilified and threatened by her natural constituency, some of whom have gone as far as accusing her of working for the opposition, the wailers and the “five-percent”.
Given the viciousness of the cabal controlling and holding the husband hostage, it won’t be a surprise if she gets the Princess Diana card, the Winnie Mandela option or the FFK treatment.
I pray and I hope nothing happens to her. As a dutiful wife and a courageous woman, she has done her part; she has spoken for posterity and need not say more. History will vindicate her as a just mother of the nation.
As for her ‘belonging to the kitchen, the living-room or the other room’, I believe President Buhari is right to decide where the wife belongs. He also has the responsibility to protect the wife from the murky waters of our politics.
Politicians in this clime are dirty and very often up to no good. It does not matter whether they are PDP or APC. They corrupt and have successfully corrupted the judiciary, the military, the police and every institution of government. Vice President Osibanjo was right to say that all government institutions and arms of government are corrupt.
If you are not guided and guarded they will corrupt you. Ask our undergraduates and mothers that messed and mingled with them; ask Mrs. Diezani Madueke; her biggest regret today was not being properly guided and guarded as she championed the implementation of the Local Content Act in the downstream sector of the Oil and Gas industry which opened opportunities for some local players and their political collaborators. For that singular error, all that she worked for and the legacy she lived for are today at risk because they messed her up, messed themselves and messed up the country by not living up to their responsibilities. Sick and down with cancer I am certain she wished she had belonged to Admiral Madueke’s kitchen, living room and the other room. She would have wished she continued with her once flourishing career at Shell.
For Aisha, I will say she is lucky the husband does not know which party she belongs to, which means she is not of APC, because according to Fayose ‘only a mad person will go to APC’. With the brutality of Aisha’s frank talk I doubt if she will be comfortable with such a community of liars called APC.
I will urge our dear president’s wife to use the president’s living room and the other room to carve a niche as the First Lady that fought tirelessly for other causes other than partisan politics. She can fight for the protection of the girl child who is a victim of poverty, decease, ignorance, abuse, molestation, rape and violence. Each day I turn to newspapers, my heart bleeds at the incessant cases of rape and violence against minors who never get justice, either because our laws are weak or that the security agencies are complacent or that the judiciary is corrupt. Your Excellency can conspire with the National Assembly, police and judiciary to ensure justice for abused minors, rape victims and children that suffered domestic violence.
Her Excellency does not need to speak from the Office of the First Lady. Being the president’s wife from the other room is sufficient.
As for Baba’s 2019 aspiration, I will not support him if things continue this way, after all I never voted for him in all his previous four attempts. However, I may work for him in 2019 if he is able to fix our broken politics and economy. I will like to support him if he accepts restructuring, ends the herdsmen insecurity and unite the country.
I also hope he will not in our male chauvinistic pride fail to appreciate some teachable moments as contained in the BBC interview.
Some take away are that Nigerians are not happy with the way things are going and may not wait until 2019 to exert their pound of flesh. The ruling party must therefore get their acts together. The president seems to be fighting wars on many fronts and the least he needs now is lighting another fire on his spinal cord via a domestic feud. Our President needs help; he needs our prayers and understanding. It is in our collective interest that we pray for him so that God will guide him towards a better legacy.
The interview also showed that the president is not infallible and can be criticised and chastised if need be. It is now left for his advisers to take a cue by always telling him the bitter truth. As a born again democrat, the President must without bitterness also listen to those who disagree with him. Another lesson is that the change agenda is a sacred contract with the people who must be respected, and that change must make life better for the common man.