AISHA, grand-daughter of Nigeria’s first minister of defence [Mohammadu Ribadu] was married to retired General Muhammadu Buhari at a very tender age. As the paragon of beauty clocks forty five years early this year [having being born on 17th of February, 1971 – as we were told], she has stayed glued to the husband for 27 years. Having been married to the man at such tender age, with such level of undiluted beauty and sophisticated educational background, Aisha, no doubt, had captured the husband in totality; spirit, body and soul, over the years.
At forty five she is at the prime of life while the husband; who is above seventy years of age, is at the declining point of life, going by the naturally acceptable rules of “diminishing returns”. One of the duos, ipso facto, would have more mastery knowledge of the home than the other. The advantage of such comparative differences between the two is likely to weigh more in favour of Madam Aisha than Oga Buhari. So, when Madam spoke to the BBC about the type of government her husband runs in Nigeria, with damning consequences of what the husband should expect from her in 2019, Nigerians need to cash cold for three reasons. Yes, we should analysis her language, which to me, were very strong and harsh but revealing, than the husband’s response, which of course, reveals the actual Muhammadu Buhari; a man holding no hope for the corporate Nigeria.
One, this beautiful home-mender might actually be feeling the pains and agony of over ninety per cent Nigerians; who are dying from the atrocious and wicked manifestation of the most wicked government in the annals of Nigeria’s history. If this is the true position, it means that, unlike her husband, she is in touch with Nigerians – that will be good news and hope for us.
Two, it could be that Aisha Buhari has become most uncomfortable with the way her husband betrayed his most accomplished benefactor; Ahmed Bola Tinubu and his camp, in distribution of the national cake through means of patronage, which is inclusive of appointments, that she needed to speak out. It is on record that Aisha Buhari appreciated the role Asiwaju Bola Tinubu played in making it possible for her husband’s emergence as president in a speech she gave in Lagos on May 18, 2015. May be, with that background of appreciation, it might have been nauseating for her to see an emerging cabal now harvesting from where it did not plant or sow. If this is so, it means that this woman is naturally not an ingrate.
Three, her outburst might as well be for another reason entirely different from the two given above. She could have as well be doing the work of a “faithful and dedicated town crier”, performing the duty of the biblical John the Baptist in “announcing the coming of Jesus Christ”. She could be on a mission of flying the kite in telling Nigerians that the husband would still be “young enough” to continue a second tenure in 2019.
This is not impossible, given the fact that politics is a game of manipulation and permutation. And Aisha Buhari is brilliant and erudite enough to operate these two lines of manipulation and permutation in luring Nigerians into false senses of security by selling this dummy of a “divided home” whereas she is actually preparing the road [2019 – 2023] for her husband. If that is her mission, then Nigerians are in greater danger than ever. For now, we need to interpret what she said more than what she did not say and also interpret the husband’s response because while the former’s statement, on the surface is encouraging, it is the latter’s response that jeopardised wisdom and comfort for Nigerians.
“I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room”, he started and thereafter reminded the wife that he ran for the presidency three times before succeeding on the fourth time, as if Aisha was not with him all this times. He then threw the devastative bomb, like the true soldier he is, by saying “so l claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition because in the end l have succeeded. It is not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government”.
I beg to be different from Garba Shehu [the president’s special senior assistant on media], who claimed that the President was just cracking a joke. It must be that Garba does not know the meaning of joke or would not understand one when it is taken too far into the border of absurdity. How could such offensive “launched missile” be a joke when the President, with all ferocious audacity, grouped his wife with his political enemies, by saying that “so l claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition because in the end l have succeeded”.
The language of the president against his wife was so abhorring that the German leader [Chancellor Angela Merkel]; another woman of substance, standing at his side, gave him a short glare and then laughed. That “short glare” and “laugh” spoke millions of interpretation about the quality of President Buhari and the Nigeria he governs. The German leader would have concluded in her analytical mind, within that moment of President Buhari’s confused and derailed demagogue’s action, more so when he classified his wife as belonging with the opposition parties that Nigeria was in serious trouble.
President Buhari’s voyage of discovery into his own cumbersome mind has revealed, once again, the nature and character of the man in deficient political endeavour. His judgement in limiting the sagacious usefulness of his wife, in functionality, to the “kitchen, living room and the other room” needs to be urgently evaluated further.
Mr. Etakibuebu, a veteran journalist, wrote from Lagos.