First Lady vs Garba Shehu
The First Lady, Aisha Buhari should win the award of being the most vocal of all first ladies in the nation’s chequered history. She hails from the north where women are trained to be seen and not heard but she has broken that stereotype and is not your typical wife of a northern leader. She has proven to possess her own voice and is not afraid of expressing herself especially on burning national issues.
We recall when she granted an interview to the BBC Hausa service where she said some unsavoury things about her husband’s administration which made the latter reply while in Germany to the hearing of the Chancellor, Angela Merkel that she belonged to the kitchen and the other room.
She even once threatened not to mobilize her women folk to vote for her husband for a second term if he continued to listen to the cabal.
Today, she was in the news when she alleged that one of her husband’s spokes persons, Garba Shehu was no more loyal to her husband. Below is a full text of the press released as gleaned from Vanguard newspapers:
Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries
Nigeria’s development is hinged on the ability of public officials to execute their mandates professionally and to be shining examples in their various areas of endeavor. It is not a good sign when officials abandoned their responsibility and start clutching at straws. As spokesperson of the President, he has the onerous responsibility of managing the image of the President and all the good works that he is executing in the country. Rather than face this responsibility squarely, he has shifted his loyalty from the President to others who have no stake in the compact that the President signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015 and 2019. To make matters worse, Mr. Shehu has presented himself to these people as a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so. The blatant meddling in the affairs of a First Lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves. We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost 4 years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s Daughter, Fatima, the public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr. President. Garba Shehu as Villa Spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place. Consequently, his action has shown a complete breakdown of trust between the First Family and him. Mr. Shehu was privy and part of the plan and it’s execution and he was shocked when he realized that I had publicized my return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019 and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media, a job he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his Principal and his family. Garba then, vented his anger on the National Television Authority (NTA) Management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job. I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga. It is at this late hour that I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu who claimed that the government will not allow office of the First Lady to run. He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President. This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realize the fact that First Lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution. Today, even without a budget, I am able to run my humanitarian programmes. In saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers. GARBA SHEHU NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED. The latest of his antics was to wage a war on the first family through an orchestrated media campaign of calumny by sponsoring pseudo accounts to write and defame my children and myself. Based on Garba Shehu’s misguided sense of loyalty and inability to stay true and loyal to one person or group, it has become apparent that all trust has broken down between him and my family due to the many embarrassments he has caused the Presidency and the first family. We all have families to consider in our actions and therefore it is in the best interest of all concerned for Garba Shehu to take the advice of the authority, given to him sometimes in the first week of November, 2019.
Aisha Muhammadu Buhari
Federal Republic of Nigeria
11th December, 2019
There is the need for caution and restraint on the part of the First Lady as she doesn’t have to bring her every challenge to the doorstep of the media. She needs to be more mature and diplomatic when handling sensitive national issues. Moreover her office is merely ceremonial and unknown to the 1999 constitution. Really, based on the strict constitutional interpretation, she should be seen and not heard. She is not part of the government whether elected or appointed and only enjoys her office at the pleasure of her husband and so there is the need for her to draw the line so as not to be too carried away with the temporal elixir of the sweeter called power.
She has no right to publicly upbraid Shehu as she isn’t his boss. The nation still remembers how she lambasted her husband’s nephew, Mamman Daura for being the face of the cabal and now this. I personally think it is high time she cut us some slack and focus on the home front by tendering to its domestic duties. We are tired of her outbursts every now and then and we don’t know who will be the next victim of her virulent tongue.
I honestly wish that Garba Shehu doesn’t issue her a public reply as silence sometimes is more golden. She should stop trying to appear like the heroine when in reality she is a beneficiary of the rot that her husband has allowed to fester in the Nigerian State.
Enough of the media hype!