In the early hours of Sunday, October 7, 2018, First Lady Aisha Buhari launched a scathing attack on her husband’s political party, APC,
“It is disheartening to note that some aspirants used their hard earned money to purchase nomination forms, got screened, cleared and campaigned vigorously yet found their names omitted on election day. These forms were bought at exorbitant prices”, she wrote.
And then Mrs. Buhari went on to decry the culture of handing out automatic tickets to imposed candidates; a culture that some say has become deep-seated in the governing APC.
“Many others contested and yet had their result delayed. Fully knowing that automatic tickets have been given to other people.
“All Progressives Congress (APC) being a party whose cardinal principle is change and headed by a comrade/ activist whose main concern is for the common man, yet, such impunity could take place under its watch. Given this development, one will not hesitate than dissociate from such unfairness, be neutral and speak for the voiceless.
“It is important for the populace to rise against impunity and for voters to demand from aspirants to be committed to the provision of basic amenities”, Mrs. Buhari added.
APC chieftains were not amused
Wives of presidents or state governors usually don’t call out their husband’s political parties or question their husband's political leanings--at least in public.
Mrs. Buhari’s dressing down of the APC caught quite a few by surprise and got some APC chieftains really agitated.
“Is she telling Nigerians that her husband is now running on a fraudulent platform? Because the process that threw up her husband is the same process that threw up the candidate in Adamawa”, one APC chieftain who pleaded that his name be left out of this story, told Pulse.
“She is married to the man. She can raise these concerns with him in the other room, behind closed doors”, said another chieftain.
This rant came from Adamawa
Pulse can report that Mrs. Buhari’s angry statement has everything to do with the governorship primary election in her home state of Adamawa.
Dr. Mahmood Halilu Ahmed, Aisha Buhari’s brother, lost the APC governorship ticket in Adamawa even though the First Lady did everything to aid his cause.
One APC chieftain who was in Adamawa on the day of the primary that sealed Ahmed’s fate told Pulse that “they are giving Aisha Buhari’s brother the rough treatment here. APC delegates here are saying they want to show Aisha that she's nothing as far as Adamawa and her politics are concerned. Aisha was expecting that her brother would be given right of first refusal on the ticket since his sister is wife of the president, but things didn't turn out that way”.
Ahmed’s loss of the primary election got Mrs. Buhari enraged and led to her press statement the day after.
Dr Halilu Ahmed was beaten
Incumbent Adamawa Governor Muhammadu Bindow emerged winner of the APC governorship primary election with 193,656 votes.
Halilu Ahmed polled second with 15,738 votes while pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, came third with 8,364 votes.
"She pulled out all the stops for her brother, but it didn't quite work out as planned, hence the meltdown", said another APC chieftain who craved anonymity.
The First Lady's office wasn't immediately available for comments.
Aisha loves to speak out against her husband's associates
It is not the first time Aisha Buhari has publicly criticized her husband’s administration, his associates or his party, however.
In October of 2016, Mrs Buhari told the BBC that her husband is being held hostage by a cabal.
"The president does not know 45 out of 50, for example, of the people he appointed and I don't know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years," Aisha Buhari lamented.
"Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position," she added.
When asked to mention names of those who have hijacked the Buhari administration, she said: "You will know them if you watch television."
On her husband’s second term bid at the time, Mrs. Buhari had retorted: "He is yet to tell me, but I have decided as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again”.
On Friday, January 19, 2018, Mrs. Buhari reposted video links wherein the speakers were taking President Muhammadu Buhari and the administration he heads, to the cleaners.
In October of 2017, Mrs. Buhari said the Aso Rock clinic which should be tending to the first family and the presidency, is so poorly equipped, it can’t boast of a syringe.
“I called the Aso Rock Clinic to find out if they have an X-Ray machine, they said it’s not working”, Mrs. Buhari began.
“There is a budget for the hospital and if you go there now, you will see a number of construction going on but they don’t have a single syringe there. What is the purpose of the buildings if there are no equipment there to work with?” Mrs. Buhari asked rhetorically.