By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
It remains to be reasoned if there was ever a more poised or polished presidential spouse in recent history as Aisha Buhari. Even more, it is arguable if there has been any as educationally enhanced as the current presidential missus. While Mrs. Turai Yar‘adua may have been the only one to have compared with Aisha in poise, having reportedly gone to an European finishing school before stepping into the Presidential Palace, none, however, nears Aisha in terms of academic aptitude.
With a second degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies, her feminine elegance is balanced with post graduate diplomas in cosmetology.
It is against the background of this solid grooming and grit that many political stakeholders are seeing her intervention into the increasingly complicated political milieu that is seemingly challenging her husband.
With the possible exception of Mrs. Patience Jonathan, presidential spouses had almost always operated in the background, playing second fiddle to their husbands’ political fancies. Mrs. Jonathan being the exception, seemingly set the direction for her husband!
Mrs. Buhari had been expected to restore the culture of feminine submissiveness in the presidential bedroom.
So, given her husband’s increasing political challenges, certainly no one would have been shocked with Mrs. Buhari tapping from her learning in strategic studies at the famous Nigerian Defence Academy, to protect her family.
Speaking in a BBC interview first broadcast on Tuesday, Mrs. Buhari is reported to have claimed that her husband knows just about 10% of those working for him, and even more, that majority of those who laboured for the APC’s victory have been sidelined.
“They are doing that because they felt they laboured for the party and deserved to be compensated,” Mrs. Buhari is quoted to have said in response to the growing muttering among APC chieftains. “People who do not have voters card are those who are given appointments and enjoying the government.”
Her assertions quickly caused excitement among senior APC members, especially among some
APC presidential campaign veterans now locked outside. The common currency among many of them is that those who did not have voter’s card are in control.
The feeling of use and dump runs deep across the support network that projected the president to victory.
But what was the purpose of Mrs. Buhari’s intervention?
It was being suggested in some quarters that her intervention was directed at restoring the political framework that threw up her husband as president. That alliance that has Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the cornerstone, has increasingly come under attack from those who did not vote for Buhari now controlling the government.
Mrs. Buhari’s recognition of Tinubu’s role in the victory was captured on March 18, 2014, just ten days before the election when Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu hosted a constituency outreach in Lagos.
Paying accolade to Asiwaju, Mrs. Buhari had said:
“My husband, General Muhammadu Buhari has been contesting presidential elections for over a decade now, but this particular election is unique because our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu jettisoned his personal interest for the sake of Nigeria.”
Mrs. Buhari has apparently not forgotten those who helped her husband to his new position.
It was significant that a day before Mrs. Buhari’s interview was aired, that another long time associate of the president, Mr. Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF also ranted against those in the party leadership who according to him are derailing the party from the path of truth and justice.
Lawal, according to one source at the meeting of party chieftains from Delta State did not spare words in berating the National Working Committee, for instigating crises in different state chapters of the party. Lawal, a long time associate of Buhari’s was a key player at the beginning of the Buhari project, and was apparently showing his own concern at the state of the party.
The seemingly uncoordinated response from Mrs. Buhari and Mr. Lawal may be a desire to stop the apparent rift in the party. That desire should be backed with much prayer!