A day after President Buhari left for a peace summit in Aswan, Egypt, a fresh war is brewing in his Aso Villa, with First Lady, Aisha alleging that Alhaji Mamman Daura, Buhari’s nephew gave a presidential directive without her husband’s knowledge.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu is prominently cast in the new war as he is the target of her vitriol: Aisha accuses him of going beyond his boundaries by issuing a statement shutting her office.
Aisha in a statement Wednesday which she personally signed said the directive scrapping the office of the First Lady was issued by Mamman Daura, using a presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
In the statement entitled, ” Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries”, she said the directive embarrassed the president.
The statement was circulated today by Suleiman Haruna’s Aisha Buhari’s spokesperson.
It read: ” Nigeria’s development is hinged on the ability of public officials to execute their mandates professionally, and to be shining examples in their various areas of endeavour. It is not a good sign when officials abandoned their responsibility and start clutching at straws.
” As spokesperson of the President, he has the onerous responsibility of managing the image of the President and all the good works that he is executing in the country. Rather than face this responsibility squarely, he has shifted his loyalty from the President to others who have no stake in the compact that the President signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015 and 2019.
” To make matters worse, Mr. Shehu has presented himself to these people as a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so. The blatant meddling in the affairs of a First Lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves.
” We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost 4 years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s Daughter, Fatima, the public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr. President.
“Garba Shehu as Villa Spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place. Consequently, his action has shown a complete breakdown of trust between the First Family and him.
” Mr. Shehu was privy and part of the plan and it’s execution and he was shocked when he realized that I had publicized my return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019 and cleared the air on the many rumours that took over social media, a job he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his Principal and his family.
“Garba then, vented his anger on the National Television Authority (NTA) Management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job. I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga.
” It is at this late hour that I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu who claimed that the government will not allow office of the First Lady to run. He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President. This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realise the fact that First Lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution.
” Today, even without a budget, I am able to run my humanitarian programmes. In saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers.
” GARBA SHEHU NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOUR WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.
” The latest of his antics was to wage a war on the First Family through an orchestrated media campaign of calumny by sponsoring pseudo accounts to write and defame my children and myself. ”
“Based on Garba Shehu’s misguided sense of loyalty and inability to stay true and loyal to one person or group, it has become apparent that all trust has broken down between him and my family due to the many embarrassments he has caused the Presidency and the first family. We all have families to consider in our actions and therefore it is in the best interest of all concerned for Garba Shehu to take the advice of the authority, given to him sometimes in the first week of November, 2019.”
Until recently, Mamman Daura, a nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari lived in the Glass House inside the presidential villa. When he left, the house was occupied by his children.
Mamman Daura is known to wield enormous powers behind the throne and making appointments in high offices, only for Buhari to endorse.
Aisha had gone public several times to attack the cabal led Daura and the chief of staff, Abba Kyari and even blamed them for some of Buhari’s failings as a leader. In the run-up to the 2019 election, Aisha threatened she would not vote for Buhari, but familial ties appeared to have cooled her resolve as a famous photograph showed Buhari ascertaining her ballot that she actually voted for him on 23 February.
The feud between the First Lady and Daura’s family worsened in October when she returned from a two-month foreign trip, amidst rumours that Buhari was about to marry a second wife, a serving minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq.
Aisha in a recent television phone-in, said Buhari was embarrassed by the rumour and was surprised that the president’s spokespersons did not squelch it.
The feud between Aisha and the Daura family became public knowledge when a video of the president’s wife asking questions and making comments about being locked out of a room and demanding that some people should pack their belongings in the Villa went viral.
Aisha confirmed she was the person in the video circulated by Fatima, Mamman Daura’s daughter and apologised to Nigerians.
But the feud in the Villa between Mamman Daura acknowledged to be at the head of the Villa cabal, and Aisha, who wants to keep her home turf, without the interlopers, has continued.