“The apartment in question is called the Glass House. You know that there are several houses and apartments in the villa. When the president got into office, he gave the Glass House to our father, Mamman Daura”
In the wake of the news and scuttlebutts about a presidential wedding last week , videos surfaced online. In one of them, Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s controversial first lady, was heard shouting and using expletives in Hausa and English. The media machine that manages Mr Buhari’s government dismissed it as the a handicraft of the opposition.
But Mrs Buhari, who cut short what some said was a self imposed exile last Saturday, has told the world that the video was indeed real.
“Actually the video was an old video, the event happened. The event happened in the video and if you look at the video, it happened under the supervision of my security officers right behind me but they failed to do anything about it because it was Mamman Daura’s daughter, Fatima, that videoed me. So, both I and the security officers, our hands were tied up till today.”Mrs Buhari told newspeople on arriving Nigeria. The timing of her “return” and her poise to turn the video thing into an asset beg a few questions. But first , Fatima:
In an interview with the BBC, Fatima who is the daughter of Mamman Daura and a “niece” of Mr Buhari, gave a bare-all in a not too subtle language.
“My name is Fatima. I am a daughter to Malam Mamman Daura… if one reasons well, he or she will understand that it is not possible to say that the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, is denied access to her apartment but let me give a context,” she said.
“Denied access” to what? You’d want to ask. Isn’t she the first lady?
“You all know that they are friends and are related, more so, they grew up together like twins. When he became president, he gave the Glasshouse to our dad and said he should stay there. Our dad stayed there for three years now until when the president’s son, Yusuf, had an accident and went to Germany for treatment.”
According to the interview, Mr Buhari gave his buddy an “even bigger apartment” within the Villa. But it looked like Mrs Buhari wanted them to give more yardage. Perhaps the Daura clan was too close for comfort and the first lady told them to shift, far away. While they were trying to move their things, according to Fatima, on a Saturday, Mrs Buhari stormed the premises and raised hell.
“I was so shocked and afraid of getting there because she (Mrs Buhari) was shouting and reigning abuses words and saying we should move out of that apartment. That she has never seen this kind of thing before. I then went back and picked my phone because if one is to say that she acted that way, no one would believe it without proof. She has already been saying a lot of things depicting that she is being suppressed.
“So I recorded it to show our parents and the security so that they will know the truth should anything happen. Because of the way she (Aisha Buhari) was raging and shouting, I was thinking that she would pick something and hit us with it or something like that. That was why we recorded it. Had it been we wanted to release the video, we would have done it earlier. But you know if a video clip enters one or two hands, you can’t control where it will get to,” Fatima concluded.
As we like a few conspiracy theories as gleaned from the lips of Nigerians and their very active social media, a few questions.
A) Glass House And a Cabal?
Bukola Saraki, former leader of the National Assembly told a world press conference in the summer of last year that “when I say that there are governments within this government, nobody believed me. Today, you know”. That was the day Nigeria’s DSS, a secret service, lead by another Daura, besieged the National Assembly to forcibly remove the intrepid leader.
Mrs Buhari,too, has hinted at a Cabal last year and before that. At a “4+4″ conference last year, Mrs Buhari said that Nigeria was in the stranglehold of ” two or three men”.
“Our votes were 15.4 million in the last elections and after that only for us to be dominated by two people… this is totally unacceptable,”
“If 15.4 million people can bring in a government and only for the government to be dominated by two people or three people, where are the men of Nigeria? Where are the Nigerian men? What are you doing? Instead of them to come together and fight them, they keep visiting them one after the other licking their shoes (I’m sorry to use those words).
And in 2016, she told the BBC that her husband’s government had been “hijacked by few people”. Mrs Buhari’s latest controversies only tend to make real the perception that her husband is perhaps not so in charge. In traditional Nigeria, a first lady is practically a god( Marriam Babangida, Abacha, Stella Obasanjo, Turai Ya Adua and Patience Jonathan.
For a man that came across as a tough guy, why is it too easy to consign his wife to oblivion? What happens to the office of the First Lady and all the power and prestige that accompany it?B) Governments within a government?In July, 3 months after the elections this year, Mr Buhari said he would take his time to pick his cabinet-“Peope that I know” ,he said at the time. But 5 days later, Mr Buhari would be reeling out names of ministers most of whom he didn’t know. So who assembled the cabinet?
Abba Kyari, Mr Buhari’s chief of staff, appears to call more shots than anyone in Nigeria. The story is that, to be happy, you must be in his good books. At least don’t offend him; lest! While Mr Kyari is the mover of things , Fatima’s dad, Mamman ,acts like a Consigliere of sorts. And one can hardly blame Mr Buhari for keeping him close.
Those who observe events in Nigeria know that the caucus wield immense power. Before the elections, they at least stayed in the background. But now ,even their children can take on the First Lady.
C and Finally) The Wedding that was not a wedding. Like we said, Mrs Buhari came back to Nigeria in the thick of rumours of a wedding. Specifically, the “Fake news” was that Mr Buhari was taking a second wife, Friday , October 11. And the rumour mill went as far as to say that Ms Sadia Umar, new minister of Humanitarian and Disaster management, will act as the de facto first lady.
Why did Aisha show up just in time? To rain on the parade? Some think so. But more revealing is the cracks in this government. Things just don’t follow protocol and order.
And Nigeria is worse for it because as the pockets of “caucuses” and their children fight for power and space, nobody is thinking about the nation.
Some glass house!