Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, returned to the public glare after a prolonged time off, to engage in what many Nigerians see as an obscene show-off with a tweet she published on her verified handle on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
She was pictured celebrating the graduation of Zahra, her son’s wife, from a United Kingdom university. Though Buhari is often advertised as an ascetic character who is for the masses and strongly anti-corruption, what Nigerians have seen of him and his family’s penchant for ostentatious displays betrays that branding.
Despite government’s failure to find a lasting solution to the rot in our educational system, the first family not only educates its children in higher institutions abroad but also engages in insensitive and showy displays of the same, with photo splashes in the social media. This trend has for long, become the habit of our ruling elite at federal and state levels.
What makes Aisha Buhari’s latest public exhibition rankle greatly with the public is that it comes at a time the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has resorted to mass action of blocking access to the nation’s airports, highways and picketing offices with a view to forcing government to fulfill the Memorandum of Action, MoA, it signed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to end its seven-month strike.
ASUU has, for over 40 years, been going on strike over the poor condition of our universities and neglect of academic and non-academic staff welfare. It has embarked on 17 strikes since 1999 because the Federal Government, irrespective of regime, has adopted the dishonourable habit of failing to fulfill its own side of agreements with ASUU.
What sets the Buhari regime’s case aside from the rest is that ASUU has gone on strike five times, the longest being the 2020 edition which lasted 270 days or nine months. The current strike has already consumed seven months. If care is not taken, this impasse might linger till the end of the Buhari regime in eight months.
While the children of the masses are languishing at home because of government incompetence to fix the problems of our public universities, the expensive private universities are running uninterrupted, while our leaders are flaunting the fact that their children are enjoying the best of education abroad at public expense.
Our current rulers, wittingly or unwittingly, are foisting a situation where the children of the impoverished middle and lower classes will be unable to get good university education in Nigeria. They lavishly celebrate this anomaly, oblivious of the social time-bomb that this represents. They add salt to injury.
Aisha Buhari’s display is condemnable.