Buhari, wife disagree on crisis in APC, government
A bit of interesting drama is going on within the First Family, as Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, says she would not join the President to campaign in 2019 if he chooses to run, as long as the country does not improve.
“He didn’t tell me he would contest in 2019, but I have decided that if he decides to contest and things don’t improve, I will not be a part of any such movement,” she said yesterday in an interview with BBC’s Naziru Mikailu in Abuja.
And, in far away Germany, President Muhammadu Buhari threw a soft backhand at his wife. The AP news agency quoted the President as saying laughingly: “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”
In an interview that gave an impression that the country’s first citizen had been held hostage by a strong group, she joined the fray of the internal crisis threatening to blow over in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).She said: “Those who are doing this should not forget that everyone cast one vote. Even Buhari cast only one vote, no one voted with all five fingers, and over 15 million people voted.
“These people who constitute themselves into the problem are not more than one, two or three; they should embrace everyone so that we can move together. “We are not even talking about 2016-2017; they are dividing members. That is causing us a lot of problems now because there are people who suffered but are today nowhere.
“Those who don’t even have a voter’s card are the ones acting as masters over everyone doing everything. What I fear is the revolt of the 15 million-plus people.”Mrs. Buhari offered what she considered a panacea: “Those without a voter’s card should give way to those who have the chance because they struggled and they know what they want to do.
“When you are with them, the first thing they say is that they are not politicians. If a person has any sense, he will not accept the offer of an appointment to seat in a position for which they did not push for, that they did nothing but came and occupied.
“You know it’s not your profession but you came and occupy it and say ‘I am not a politician.”But Buhari said of suggestions that he was inexperienced: “So I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition, because in the end I have succeeded.
“It’s not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government.”Asked if the President was aware of the operators in his government, Mrs. Buhari claimed ignorance adding, however, that the voters know.
Reacting to the popularly held opinion that the government being run by her husband was not up to speed with the challenges, she said: “In my view, I am not a government official and I speak as a woman and a mother. It is known that we will not have a smooth four years.
“The first problem is how we came into government. There is nobody who can take the credit for it. Some people met and decided that enough was enough.
“Now, half of them are not even involved in running that government. They have brought some people who are not politicians, people who did not know what we said we would do and not do during the campaigns, some of them have come out to say they are not politicians but they are seating in political positions.
“Note that some separated from their wives because of politics, some lost their children, some women lost their husbands, there is nothing that did not happen. But now…I am not happy because we just started the journey.”
Sounding exasperated over the influence of some powerful persons on her husband, Aisha who says she has been with the President for about 27 years, noted there was nothing she could tell him.
“Among the people he appointed, if he is asked among say 50 people, he does not know 45. This is what I think because, even I who have lived with him for 27 years, I don’t know them,” she said.
On suggestions that a cabal is running the government that her husband sits atop, she agreed, adding that save for ministers like Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi and a few others, she said she and her husband didn’t know the others.
Senate President Bukola Saraki also said yesterday that the First Lady’s statement vindicated his position that the Buhari administration has been hijacked by a cabal.
Saraki, who spoke through his aide on Social Media, on Twitter, said:“To say there is government is now an understatement. What baffles me the most is the fact that they don’t even share same ideology.”He had earlier revealed said some individuals within Buhari’s government were running a “government within the government.”The President’s wife insinuated that the government has been hijacked, as a “few people” were behind presidential appointments.