It has been over four years since Muhammadu Buhari became president and occupied the seat of governance in Nigeria – Aso Villa. These years have seen headlines of interesting tales bordering on governance matters to family issues, and it doesn’t seem to be ending soon. Nigerian polity is seen to be notorious of chaos and every other form of antiques that have resulted in instability, both socially and economically. It is believed that apart from tribal and political differences inhibiting peaceful coexistence, in-house rift has become another norm that decency has refused to welcome.
In October, a video of fracas between the first lady, Aisha Buhari and Mamman Daura families surfaced online. The intriguing confusion that followed was unbecoming of the seat of governance in a country of 200 million people.
Barely a month after, amidst other chaos taking place in perceived corridors of brutality, the wife of the president has issued a statement pointing fingers at some principals officers at the government, and it is more glaring than the video that was virally circulated about a month ago.
It opened a cankerworm of animosity between the first family and the president’s nephew, Mamman Daura, his influence on governance, and other matters that the Nigerian public have been oblivious to. The statement reads:
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 & 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 specifically, 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 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 all the happenings between Garba Shehu in his 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 my family and Garba Shehu 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.”
According to critics, this statement reveals two major factors:
- The president appears not really at the helm of affairs in Aso Villa.
- Members of his cabinet have carved out a political niche for themselves and the president is obviously not aware of it. It is seen as a house divided against itself and the dysfunction in the country is the resultant consequence.
The First Lady herself appears helpless and needs the help of the public. But her open support for the ant-social media bill seems to have waned whatever remains of the sympathy that people once had for her. This isn’t the first time she is speaking out about a cabal taking over her husband’s presidency, and the way it’s going, it is not going to be the last.