The wife of the Nigerian President, Aisha Buhari, cuts the image of a strong-willed First Lady quite unlike her predecessors in the 'office' constitutionally unsanctioned and unrecognized. She is ambitious, bold, outspoken and authoritative; she is soundly educated, sophisticated and overbearing. She is supremely beautiful and audacious. The woman from Adamawa state knows what power is all about and goes around exploiting every opportunity to assert her dominance and influence in the scheme of things.
Since the Buharian system is flawed the wife of the President is flexing presidential muscles against the cabal that has 'captured' Buhari and put him in 'prison'. Aisha is up against the cabal because she is aware that her husband is being held hostage by forces beyond his control. Mamman Daura and the other gerontocrats calling the shots in Aso Rock are too entrenched and powerful to be dealt with or overcome.
So she is feeling marginalised and disrespected by the cabal whom Buhari trusts more than herself. She has had cause to take the battle against the cabal to the public domain naming and shaming some of the members but the 'finale' could be played whenever Aisha decides to take on the defacto cabal leader, Daura, openly.
Unlike Patience Jonathan who broke presidential protocols occasionally abroad stealing millions of Dollars and billions of Naira Aisha covets power and pushes forward an agenda the cabal finds disfavourable. Unlike 'Mama Peace' Aisha has never involved herself in any fiscal scandal to the best of our knowledge.
Unlike Turai Yar'Adua who coveted power post-Yar'Adua manifesting her political interest in the leadership of the nation even when she was yet to be tested or elected to any public office anywhere before Aisha wants power even when the President is still alive and well. While we wish the President many more years of 'service' to the nation in the event that he drops dead today then hell would be let lose inside Aso Villa!
Quite unlike the late Stella Obasanjo whose primary preoccupation was to aesthetically please Baba Obasanjo Aisha does not need any plastic surgery to enhance her natural beauty because she knows she is a combination of brain and natural beauty. Besides as a septuagenarian Buhari may no longer be able to appreciate anything beautiful dangled before him. Unlike Baba who still 'shoots' at the hip upon sighting one the retired lanky General does not give any impression of being love-crazy!
Unlike Maryam Abacha hajia Buhari likes the limelight seeking publicity and craving the indulgence of Nigerians. While hajia Abacha played a good wife solidly standing behind her late husband as the brutal kleptocrat stole the hell out of Nigeria Aisha has shown that her interests lie elsewhere other than the kitchen or the bedroom, the husband's German allusion otherwise nothwithstanding.
She had complained bitterly against almost everybody working with her husband. From the late COS Abba Kyari whom she accused of power-grab machinations to the SSA Media and Publicity to Buhari, Garba Shehu, whom she berated for working for and serving other interests and masters other than his principal. As they say in pidgin English in 'Naija': 'madam tear eye no be small'. She is very active and conscious of her presidential environment politicking hard for good or bad reasons.
Prior to the presidential poll of last year Aisha had openly threatened to withdraw her support for Buhari re-election bid if the cabal were not sent packing. The presidential poll had come and gone with Aisha throwing her full weight behind her husband even though the election was rigged in favour of Buhari.
Unlike the late Maryam Babangida who mesmerised Nigerians with her soft spot for the poor Aisha seems to be concerned more about her place and role in the Buhari giddy regime. While Gen. Babangida guilefully initiated bogus programmes like SAP, DFFRI, MAMSER etc the late wife concentrated her energy on Better Life for Rural Women. We dare say that many rural dwellers were empowered thus lifted from poverty.
As she managed a crafty 'Maradona' as husband, one who defrauded an entire nation and plunged her into a needless national (June 12) tragedy, Maryam presented the image of a good woman who married a martial Oliver Twist!
Now the 'war' against the cabal in Aso Villa has taken another violent turn with the recent gunfight involving Aisha's security aides, her children and the pampered youngest rich member of the cabal, Sabiu,'Tunde' Yusuf. In the end 'Idiagbon', though beaten and bloodied, could boast of surviving an onslaught on his person, COVID-19 or no Coronavirus! Those who fought for Aisha were detained and redeployed. And Sabiu never submitted himself for any quarantine!
One thing is sure though. Long before Buharism is thrown out of Aso Rock come 2023 we may not have heard the last of the animus between Aisha and those she is accusing of winning no elections (or contributing nothing towards the presidential victory) yet commanding and deciding who gets what or what gets done on behalf of Buhari.
But the problem lies with a man whose insentience calls for pity rather than condemnation. We have never seen such scenario in the history of our national politics where the elected President depends less on himself and more on others for the job he is elected to do. Buhari is more of a presidential liability to Nigerians than an asset.
Yet the problem looks even deeper than could ever be imagined. A President who could not inspire confidence and take effective control of his immediate family cannot possibly do much to position or reposition a nation in socio-economic crisis. Nigeria suffers abuse and fiscal bleeding on a daily basis because those entrusted with power to guard against violation of her interests are not capable of the charge.
Is Madam Buhari oppressed or is she the oppressor herself? Well, your guess is as good as ours. Suffice to say here (however) that the average Nigerians on the streets from Kano to Katsina, Minna to Abeokuta are the oppressed. Aisha is indeed part of the oppressive system in place dehumanizing Nigerians and making them hopeless and helpless.