Elegant Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, reminds me of the late delectable Miriam Babangida. Beautiful, suave, self-assured, with great panache. She exudes much grace that lightens the severe mien of her husband. But take it or leave it, Aisha comes with a rare attribute for a northern woman, woman is a mind of her own. She is not only seen, she also talks and when she does, Nigerians listen.
Our very dear Aisha, a supporter of the obnoxious social media bill has tipped the scale lately with her consistent and persistent ‘wailing’. You may not like it but the beautiful woman has not made any pretence about the coldness between her and her in-laws, especially, Mamman Daura, the president’s uncle and power behind the throne. She does not hesitate to vent her anger with regard to what she sees as invasion of her home by the Dauras, who are occupying a section of the presidential villa, Aso Rock. Strangely, Daura is not in a hurry to vacate the place, as if he has no house of his own.
Aisha is piqued that a cabal has taken over the reins of her husband’s presidency and it seems the president cannot extricate himself from their hold. That is why you see her fighting all the time.
Her latest assault is against presidential spokesman, Shehu Garba, whom she alleges has shifted his allegiance to the cabal instead of the president. If indeed Oga Garba failed in his responsibility towards his principal and the first family, obviously the woman has a right to complain.
Nobody can deny Aisha the right to protect her home and her husband from predators. One wonders if the people occupying Aso Rock at government expense were also elected by Nigerians and what entitles them to inconveniencing the woman of the house.
Surely, this could be resolved within the family. However, Mr. President is busy with state matters, travelling all over the world, as if he is on holiday and affording the wife no opportunity for pillow talk. So, the the First Lady does not have that luxury, has decided to adopt pillow talk activism, thereby making private matters public for Nigerians to judge.
Why would a president who confined his wife to the ‘other room’ refuse to show up there? Aisha will continue to rebel regardless of what people say. It seems that if Mr. President wants Aisha to stop, he should simply return to the bedroom for that much prized pillow talk.
That the president has tolerated his wife’s affrays proves his humanness all of us after all; you could be a General in the warfront or president of a nation but when you get home, we know who actually wields the power.
I also heard that Governor Sam Ortom of Benue State said they would not allow foreigners to take over their land. Is the governor hallucinating or what? Being up there, he should have since known that Nigeria is the only country where ‘foreigners’ are more at home than the natives. In Nigeria, foreigners do not only takeover the ancestral lands they do not own, they also maim and kill the natives and are guaranteed protection. So, dear governor, go back to sleep; it is safer than to keep awake and go mental, analysying the oddities in our receding country.
How many Nigerians noticed the joke spurned by electricity workers, that they were on strike last week? How then would we describe the many years of perennial darkness when they were ‘on duty’? Let the strike continue, please; there has been no difference and I doubt if there ever would be.
The delusion of improved power supply could be likened to the Igbo, dreaming the presidency of this country instead of deploying their talents to much more noble ventures. This heightens my concern, especially considering the continuous onslaught on the economic live wire of the Igbo, which began since the inevitable war of survival in the late 1960s. It has been obvious that the various Nigerian governments have remained intent on crushing the Igbo, using serial scorching policies.
Almost all policies churned out in this country seem targeted to roast the Igbo and it goes beyond this administration. Today, Igbo land is under siege and cannot be easily accessed because of multiple roadblocks mounted by angry security personnel, as if planted to keep a tab on this ‘restless slave’.
Not a few Igbo businesses have been incinerated under cloudy circumstances. There was Jim Nwobodo’s Savannah Bank, Cletus Ibeto’s cement company, among several others. Innoson Motors is under severe economic attack too, even as Allen Onyema of Air Peace has come under suspicious searchlight too soon after his invaluable patriotic act of airlifting stranded Nigerians home free of charge during the ignominious attacks by ungrateful, drug crazed, jealous South Africans.
The thrust of this article, as many others before it is to arouse in the Igbo the hunger for commonsense to confront the affront on their common destiny. I have consistently argued that it is time Ndigbo came together and fight for their collective survival, using their adroit resourcefulness and enterprise. They need to reset their mindset and build for tomorrow. Thinking that the Igbo would get justice or fair deal in Nigeria is pipe dream. That is also not saying the Biafra dream, which many have been deluded to yearn for, is Eldorado, at least, not under the present hodgepodge of confusion.
Before the Igbo get to Biafra, there are things to straighten out. A Biafra that rejoices over the downfall of a compatriot is not worth it. A Biafra inhabited by crabs is not worth it. A Biafra without friendly neighbours is not worth it. A Biafra of insolent mercantilists and demigods is not worth it. A Biafra trapped in poverty, want and insecurity is not worth it. A Biafra bereft of modern facilities to enable life thrive and business to flourish is questionable.
Therefore, governors of the five South-east states should stir from their aggravated somnabulism and tap into the wealth of successful Igbo businessmen and encourage them to invest more at home. Ohanaeze Ndigbo should promote fraternal bond among the Igbo instead of pettiness. Of course, the Igbo business moguls may not be easily weaned from their humongous investments offshore but they should be encouraged to now focus homewards because when the impending implosion happens in this country in retreat, they would have provided helmets for their heads and the other Igbo to be empowered through job creation.
The right prayer is that this ill wind against Igbo businesses shall soon blow over and fizzle out as it came. Let us not be in haste to forget the route we all passed to get to where we are. Let us not lose sight of our thorn-laced history so that the fire Ndigbo went to the land of the spirits to get is not extinguished in the land of man. What have the Igbo even gained from her illustrious sons and daughters in government, especially during Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency when they practically controlled key areas of economy and could have recovered all Igbo losses to Nigeria. Rather, they elected to build personal empires and court jesters, fawning at their feet.
Those flying the kite of Igbo presidency are disingenuous and don’t wish Ndigbo well. They are setting Ndigbo up for ridicule and, unfortunately, some people have been so deceived. The mirage will go up in smoke like the OBJ days when Ndigbo produced five senate presidents in one regime, as other regions sneered at us.
What should be uppermost in the mind of the Igbo now before presidency is to solidify their unmatchable economic prowess, and a restructured Nigeria, not spurious presidency.