It is a common impression that people who most times appear in public to feign prudish are more often than not extremely lascivious, especially when indoor activities or matters about them are involved. This, at the very best, presents a typical and relevant analogy to the obvious sort of hypocrisy that Mr. and Mrs. Muhammadu and Aiasha Buhari appear to be currently indulging themselves as much as their minds can oblige them that members of the public are currently suffering from amnesia on issues pertaining to the continued existence of the office of the first lady.
As we may recall, Major General Muhammadu Buhari had publicly averred – during the 2015 Presidential electioneering, that should he win and be sworn in as the next President (which he is now), that he would not hesitate to scrap the office of the first lady and, by implication, bring to an end the perceived corruption and public disorder perception associated with the movement of the occupant of the office within our political landscape.
Though Mr. Buhari’s wife, Madam Aiasha Buhari, did swiftly intervene in an apparent desperation to allay the fear of the womenfolk – the chief beneficiaries of the mileage that accrues from the existence of the office of the First Lady – by countering her husband’s seemingly anti-women remark and thus overruling him, the truth however, as one could candidly observe it, is that President Muhammadu Buhari is now understandably a pliable phenomenon within the context of the same prism which former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was rightly or wrongly adjudged and called all sorts of names, and which tended to propagate the impression that he was allegedly being controlled by his spouse.
Curiously, however, instead of going the whole hog of scrapping the office of the first lady now he has ultimately come on board and, more importantly, pursuant to the campaign promise made to the electorate by himself, and not his wife who is not known by the people in this context, President Muhammadu Buhari has not only reneged on this pledge so far, but also he has alternatively and subtly opted to further deceive the ever gullible bulk of the masses of this country by merely telling them that this office would be better baptised and renamed the office of wife of Mr. President than scrapping – but this is not just a quintessential instance of a failed campaign promise of but also it is a mere change of nomenclature that has not in any way fundamentally altered the usual first-lady malady and its associated effect as a parallel government. Unfortunately, here we are with the same man (now Mr. President) who would want the electorate to believe him at the time that whatever office or position belonging to the wife of the President, irrespective of whatever name it was called and which allowed her (that is the wife of Mr. President) the opportunities to parade around or bestride the polity for whatever reason(s), was not only unconstitutional but equally worthy of being scrapped.
Today, ironically, President Muhammadu Buhari no longer subscribes to this same belief or views the office of the first lady, which is now renamed the office of wife of Mr. President in line with the APC’s change mantra perhaps, as representing or consisting in that same yesterday’s unconstitutional phenomenon that deserved no existence – which incidentally his wife too is beginning to use it to disturb and disrupt the peace, tranquillity and order in our polity.
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To be specific, aside from using this same platform, like Mrs. Jonathan and her predecessors did, to kick-start her own politics of “helping” the less privileged and the like in the society, Mrs. Aiasha Buhari has suddenly become such a caring and great philanthropist that recent media reports had it that she “donated undisclosed amount of money to 48 victims of the recent Gombe bomb blast admitted at the Federal Teaching and Specialist Hospital, Gombe state” through Hajiya Aisha Jibir, a member representing Dukku/Nafada Federal constituency of Gombe state. Of course, much as there is nothing clearly wrong in caring for the people living in anguish or in being charitable to the less privileged, especially by the wife of Mr. President, somehow what remains baffling in the circumstance is the motive behind the concealment of the actual amount of money given to the victims of the foregoing bomb blast or, better still, why the amount given should be shrouded in secrecy.
In the same vein, it defies understanding where from Mrs. Aisha Buhari is currently getting the huge sum with the aid of which the office of the wife of Mr. President is being funded and/or sustained for now. And in the absence of being part of or enjoying any known budgetary allocation in this regard for now, it is most unlikely that she (Mrs. Buhari) owes her source of funding to Mr. Buhari’s less than thirty (N30) Million Naira worth of liquid cash being part of his assets declaration prior to being sworn in on May 29, 2015 as a President.
Moreover, it is by no means less hypocritical that the same President Muhammadu Buhari who has been strutting and pontificating (like a wise guy) about the need to reduce the cost of governance by merging government ministries, departments and parastatals as well as by sacking the permanent secretaries even before their due time for retirement, all in an effort to trim down government expenses, has consciously or unconsciously allowed his wife to be moving helter skelter for the sake of operating her sub-ministries within the larger official government ministries and with no seemingly serious check on her regarding the limit to which she could spend in the course of playing her politics of “helping the less privileged. Yet, it does not seem that even Mr. President has ever taken the task upon himself to impress it on her wife on the imperative of being transparent in the way and manner she dishes out fund in the general operation of her sub-ministries or “parallel government”. Otherwise, how on earth could one fathom the rationale behind the actual amount of money reportedly given to the foregoing victims of recent Gombe bomb blast admitted at the Federal Teaching and Specialist Hospital, Gombe state, whereas the same wife of Mr. President, Madam Aisha Buhari, felt free and proud to bring to the attention of the public and, in fact, the world that over 2000 ( two thousand) women had been freely screened under the auspices of her women health initiative project tagged “Aishatu Buhari Women Health Inititaive”, which reportedly took place at the Queens school Enugu, Enugu state. Indeed, like her husband, Madam Aisha Buhari’s notion of transparency and openness in the running of the office of the wife of Mr. President seems somewhat to be determined by and dependent on the people and/or the section of the country involved. In other words, Mrs. Buhari seems to be guided by subjective interpretation of the meaning of transparency and openness in the running of the affairs of her office – an office hitherto perceived and reportedly declared unconstitutional and as such unworthy of existence by no other than her husband (Mr. Muhammadu Buhari) during the 2015 Presidential campaign.
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Interestingly, after fussing about the former First Lady’s, Dame Patience Jonathan’s, visit to Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry in Enugu, by members of the APC, their spouses, supporters and sympathizers, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has today become a pilgrim and visitor to the hallowed ground of the Adoration Ministry. But as some people may ask, is there anything wrong with that? Your answer is as good as mine.
Anyhow, what is important now is that President Muhammadu Buhari must try to fulfil his campaign promise by scrapping the office of the first lady or office of the wife of Mr. President or whatever appellation that may be adopted to disguise its existence. The truth is that Hajiya Aisha Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, begin to help the government and the people of this country at large in their ongoing efforts to reduce the cost of governance by putting an end to the “parallel government” which the running of the office of wife of Mr. President signifies.
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