The Presidency was reportedly in disarray on the night of Thursday, June 11, 2020, when a heated argument ensued between the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari and President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant, Sabiu Yusuf also known as Tunde.
The argument reportedly started after Sabiu, who is said to be Buhari’s cousin returned to the Villa after a trip to Lagos, where he had gone to meet his wife who had just delivered a baby.
Upon his return on Thursday night, the First Lady and three of her children, Zahra, Halima and Yusuf together with some security aides led by her Aide-de-Camp, Usman Shugaba went to Sabiu’s residence to ask him to self-isolate for 14 days so as not to endanger the first family.
According to THISDAY, the encounter degenerated into a heated argument between Sabiu and Aisha, as the President’s cousin maintained that he was not the only aide to travel to Lagos.
He argued that the new Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari used to travel to Lagos every weekend before he settled in Abuja, as he wondered why the First Lady picked on him and singled him out for self-isolation after visiting his wife.
When the argument seemed to be getting too heated, the First Lady’s ADC, Usman Shugaba in an attempt to apprehend Sabiu reportedly fired gunshots, but the president’s aide escaped to the nearby residence of President Buhari’s cousin, Mamman Daura, where he spent the night, THISDAY reports.
Following the gunshots, the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed received a security report on the incident and ordered the arrest of Aisha’s ADC and all the security aides that went to Sabiu’s residence with the First Lady.
Their arrest was premised on the principle that no matter the provocation, firing gunshots in the presidency constitutes a ‘security breach’.
However, on Friday, June 12, 2020, the First Lady took to her Twitter page to call on the IGP to release her aides.
Aisha made the call in a series of tweets that started with a piece of advice to relevant government agencies on how to properly manage the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria and ended with what seems to be a desperate call to the police to release her aides.
She tweeted: “That Covid-19 is real and still very much around in our nation is not in doubt. Consequently, I call on all relevant Government Agencies to enforce the Quarantine Act signed by Mr President and ensure no one is found violating this law and the NCDC guidelines especially on interstate travel without the necessary exemptions for movement of essentials.
Anyone who does that should at the very least be made to undergo 14 days mandatory isolation no matter who the person is, no one should be above the law and the Police command will do well to remember that.
“Finally, I call on the IGP to release my assigned Staff who are still in the custody of the Police in order to avoid putting their lives in danger or exposure to Covid-19 while in their custody.”
The First Lady, however, did not state when they were arrested and what led to their arrest.
The argument between Sabiu and Aisha was said to be parts of the scheme by the First Lady to expand her influence in the Presidency.
According to THISDAY, a source close to the Presidency said since the death of the former Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, the wife of the President had been making efforts to re-establish her influence but believed President Buhari’s cousins, one of whom Sabiu is, are blocking her chances.
The source also disclosed that Sabiu was not the first aide to return to the Villa after travelling without going on self-Isolation.
Two of the President’s daughters, Zahra and Halima were said to have visited their in-laws and returned to the Villa without self-isolating.