My Husband Surrounded By Strangers –Aisha Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's wife has warned him that she may not back him at the next election unless he shakes up his government.
In a BBC interview, Aisha Buhari suggested his government had been hijacked by only a "few people", who were behind presidential appointments.
She said the president did not know most of the officials he had appointed.

The President enjoys a lot of goodwill because of his antecedents but what do you think is responsible for the seeming slowness in government?
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-year tenure. The first problem/ challenge is the way this government came into being. No one can say I brought this government into power. People came together and said enough is enough.
Nearly half of these people (who came together to bring this government) are not involved in running it. 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 sitting in political positions. Don’t forget some separated from their wives because of (this) politics, some lost their children, some women lost their husbands; there is nothing that did not happen. But now, with the way things are going, I am not happy because we just started the journey; we have not reached the end. We know that some people who laboured have not been brought on board but now those who were brought and given positions like heads of agencies for example, (you see such a person fighting his state governor because they contested for the seat with him in PDP and the governor in the APC, they traded insults), today, such people are the ones calling the shots.

In your view, who are those causing these problems?
Well, everybody knows them. Those who are doing this should not forget that individuals voted. Even Buhari cast single vote, no individual voted with all five fingers, individuals voted and over 15 million people voted. These people who constitute themselves into bottlenecks are not more than one, two or three; they should embrace everyone so that we move together. We are not even talking about 2016-2017; they have started dividing members of the APC. 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 lording it over everyone, (they are) doing everything. What I fear is the revolt of the 15 million plus people.

Does the President know that there are people who have turned themselves into bottlenecks?
Whether he knows it or not, those who voted for him know it.

You are the closest person to him. Have you told him for example?
Well, there is nothing I can tell him, he can see. 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 that have lived with him for 27 years, I don’t know them.

Are you saying that these (unknown) people are the ones doing things and not the President?
Those who know they don’t have voter’s cards should give those with voter’s cards the chance because they are the ones who struggled and suffered, they know what they want to do. When you go to sit in a meeting with them, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is “we are not politicians.” If someone is sensible, he will not accept the offer of an appointment to sit in a position he did not suffer for, that he did nothing but came and occupied. You know it’s not your profession but you came and occupy and say I am not a politician. In all these places where they put non-politicians, we will go back to the political field (when the time comes).

It will be surprising to hear you say some people are running government without the President’s knowledge. Who are these people?
I also don’t know them.

People have said one, two or three people are the ones calling the shots. Do you agree?
Yes, I agree because apart from people like (Babatunde) Fashola, (Rotimi) Amaechi and a few others, I don’t know the rest and I know he (The President) doesn’t know them.
Someone will find it difficult to believe that with President Buhari’s experience, some people are running his government without him knowing.
Yes, it is a surprising thing because nobody thought things would turn out this way. Because sometimes someone may do things without knowing but, if people come together and speak, they should be listened to because in the future whether the General will contest or not, these are the people who will come out and vote the APC again. We don’t wish for a return to the past administration.

Did he tell you that he will contest in 2019?
He didn’t tell me but I have decided that if he decides to contest and things don’t change/improve, I will not be a part of any such movement.
The concluding part of the INTERVIEW will be aired on SATURDAY

Source: BBC Hausa
Translated by John Alechenu

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