The Lagos society is agog with a earth-shaking scandal. It is the most discussed issue amongst the elitist clique and it has generated into a hot debate among these prominent personalities as well. The scandal involves a multi-billionaire property merchant and construction magnate and a self-proclaimed female media mogul and human resources consultant.
This ebony looking corporate amazon is in her 50’s and has been divorced for over 10 years . Over the years, she has been linked with several powerful men in the business and government circles. Featuring, prominently on her list of conquests are two former governors of the Centre of Excellence, another former governor of a Sunshine state, another governor of a riverside state, two bank MDs, a billionaire oil magnate, among several others. Even her new inlaw was tagged among some of the men who finance her super wealthy lifestyle. This publicity loving lady is on the verge of becoming a grandmother; and she still considers herself a hot number.
The property magnate, who lives like a king in a castle in Lagos, has quite a reputation for being very stingy. He flaunts exotic cars and shows off his state-of-the-art mansion, but he abhors helping other people. He enjoys the company of women, but he detests spending money on them.
Now, this heavily-built billionaire was alleged to have initiated the move towards wooing the media mogul. They got talking and struck a deal to go away for a weekend tryst outside the country. Their destination? Dubai! So, the media mogul flew first class to Dubai and checked into a 5-star hotel. Her expectation was high, as she must have seen herself counting hundred of dollar notes by the time the moment of tryst ended. Also, she was reported to have planned on going on a jewelry-shopping binge before departing Dubai.
Before long, Madame was later joined by her would-be lover. They did all the ding-dong and had a most romantic moment. Feeling satiated, the construction magnate was said to have excused himself to attend a business meeting, away from the hotel. Few minutes after he left, he, reportedly called his lover and informed her he had to leave for Nigeria with his friend in a private jet, so as to seal the business deal. He apologised to the media mogul and informed her to take a white envelope he dropped by the bed stand. By the time the TV lady rummage through the envelope and counted the dollar notes, tears of regret cascaded down her face. The money barely covered the hotel bill for one night. It was then the reality and consequences of her action hit her. She had been used and had fallen victim to a one chance lover.
But if she thought she could prevent the Dubai tragedy from flittering into Nigeria, she thought wrong. Had she done her research well, she would have discovered that her billionaire lover has a mouth that runs faster than a racing car. The property magnate was alleged to have regaled his friends with the unsavoury tale of the tryst in Dubai. And before long, it became the epicentre of discussion among the movers and shakers in Lagos.
What most of the women can’t understand is how this self-professed global personality could be so dump to have been played, used and dumped by this billionaire.
This scandal has since fouled the entire Lagos atmosphere and the tv mogul has become a laughing stock among other women and men alike.
Aisha Buhari: The Travails Of A First Lady Defending Good Governance And Democracy In Nigeria
By Olalekan Abdullahi
Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari is certainly facing an existential battle, despite being the wife of the President of the most populous black country in the world.
Her travails are not actually from her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, but from those that surround him, who she strongly believes are trying to make life difficult for her and her children, and she appears to be helpless as her husband does not seem perturbed by what she has been complaining about right in Aso Rock, the seat of Nigeria’s government where the first family resides.
Hajia Aisha Buhari has never failed to express her views on issues concerning the running of the government and matters that have to do with her family and her husband’s administration generally.
Aisha comes across as a very strong woman and what most Nigerians appreciate about her, is the fact that she speaks her mind.
The First Lady has voiced out the truth on many occasions damning whatever consequences that may arise.
She once spoke up fiercely against the “cabal” frustrating her husband’s government. An act many people, especially first ladies, have notably shied away from.
The First Lady is noted to be active on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms where she objectively criticizes the policies of the government and even offers suggestions when and where necessary to the surprise of many Nigerians.
In October 2016, Aisha Buhari during an interview with BBC, openly criticized the President suggesting that she might not support his 2019 re-election bid.
Aisha Buhari also claimed that some people had hijacked Buhari’s government.
“The president does not know 45 out of 50, of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years.
“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”.
“…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,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari also alleged that a ‘powerful caucus’ is behind the presidential appointments.
In response to APC party’s mishandling of 2019 elections party primaries, Aisha publicly said: “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.”
The Nigeria’s first lady also accused the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole of condoning impunity and threatened to dissociate herself from the party if it continued.
Flashback to July 10, 2017, when the media was awash with the outbursts of the First Lady during a visit to her husband in the United Kingdom, where he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
Apparently frustrated Aisha had described some people around her husband as Hyenas and Jackals and wrote a piece entitled; “Hyenas, jackals will soon be sent out of my husband’s kingdom.” This was in response to Senator Shehu Sani’s (representing Kaduna Central District) post which read: “Prayer for the absent Lion King has waned; until he’s back then they will fall over each other to be on the front row of the palace temple. Now the hyenas and the jackals are scheming and talking to each other in whispered; still doubting whether the Lion King will be back or not…”
There, Aisha Buhari gave an insight into the power play at the Nigerian seat of power in the wake of a sickness that had kept her husband out of the country for two months then.
Responding to Mr. Sani’s comment also proverbially, Mrs. Buhari said: “God has answered the prayers of the weaker Animals. The Hyenas and the jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals”.
Mrs. Aisha’s comment attracted many comments from her followers on Facebook, wishing her husband quick recovery.
Upon her return to Nigeria back then, the President’s wife had said he was recovering well and that he expressed appreciation to Nigerians praying for him.
However, the First Lady kept making statements about issues that has to do with governance and she was able to endear herself to the hearts of numerous Nigerians, who felt she has been doing her best to protect the nation’s nascent democracy. She was dubbed the amazon of African democracy because her voice has been the loudest from any woman in the continent of Africa, fighting vigorously for the sustenance of democracy and preservation of the office of the president.
On Wednesday, 11, December, 2019, Mrs. Aisha Buhari came out in another form to tackle her husband’s spokesperson, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Garba Shehu on issues affecting the country and how she is being undermined and doubted Shehu’s loyalty to the president. Trust the amazon, she poured her heart out through a piece she posted on her verified Instagram page and other platforms.
The piece is entitled; “Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries.’
In the piece, the First Lady made it clear that 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 endeavor.
“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,” the First Lady said.
The First Lady added that Garba Shehu, as Villa Spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but that “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.
Aisha Buhari stressed that Mr. Shehu was privy and part of the plan and it’s execution and that he was shocked when he realized that she had publicized her return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019 and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media, a job she said 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 realize 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,” she said.
Aisha added that 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.”
Several Nigerians however, wondered why the First Lady makes this kind of outburst, when her husband is not around, and if President Muhammadu Buhari would support his wife or Garba Shehu, when he returns to the country from Egypt on Friday, 13th December, 2019 or keep mute on the matter as he has done in the past.
With these, millions of Nigerians have applauded Aisha Buhari as a defender of democracy, who is never afraid to lend her voice to issues despite being the wife of the President.
The First Lady is seen as a rare breed and Africa’s First Lady with the loudest voice, when the need arises despite the fact that she comes from the northern part of the country, where women are not expected to speak loudly.
Aisha might be hated by those in power that are immensely benefiting from the system, but she is loved by women and the masses and they see her as the icon of democracy and hope that all is not lost after all despite the travails of the country under the present government.
Aisha is seen as a very dependable woman that has been with her husband all through the period he had been contesting elections right from 2003 until he eventually succeeded in 2015. She stood by the husband through thick and thin, keeping the family and raising beautiful children since she married Buhari 30 years ago.
The thinking of many in Nigeria and beyond is that the likes of Garba Shehu and Mamman Daura should let the first lady live in peace with her family and reap the fruits of her years of labour. But many believe despite the travails she has been going through, Hajia Aisha Buhari will hold her ground, and continue to fight for good governance and protection of democratic ethos in Nigeria. She is indeed an iconic amazon worthy of emulation by other wives of African leaders.
CBA Foundation holds Walk4Hope charity event Dec 7
The Chinwe Bode-Akinwande (CBA) Foundation, a Lagos-based non-governmental organization is set to hold its 2019 annual five-kilometer-long walk, tagged: Walk4Hope in Lagos, south west, Nigeria.
According to the organizer, the charity walk which will take off at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, on Saturday 7th December, 2019 at 7am is aimed at raising funds for the protection and support of underprivileged widows and their vulnerable children.
In 2015 to date, CBA Foundation has reached out to thousands of underprivileged widows and children through skill acquisition training, health intervention, business start-up, clothing, nutrition and tuition fees for the children.
Commenting on the programme, the founder of the foundation, Mrs. Chinwe Bode-Akingbade, an enviable banker, said proceeds from this year’s walk will be channeled to school support project for pupils in its adopted schools and for empowering selected underprivileged widows to start business.
“CBA Foundation was established to alleviate sufferings and pains of the less-privileged, especially widows and their children in the society.
“We currently have over 600 authentic widows on our profile, and the children of about 90 per cent of them have dropped out of school because of lack of funds. So, even if it’s the basic education we are able to give to them, they can build on it. We don’t want children who should be in schools on the streets because their mothers cannot afford school fees. Who knows if the future president is among them? Every child should have access to education and a good life and that is what CBA Foundation intends to achieve.
“To change our society and make the world a better place, we must love, give and share no matter how small. Hence, the net proceeds of this year’s walk will go to back to school support project for pupils in our adopted schools and for empowering selected underprivileged widows to start business.”
“Therefore, every step counts! Every step you take brings us closer to offering hope to underprivileged widows and their children,” Bode-Akinwande concluded.
Registration for the walk has started via: www.cbafoundation.org/registration.
Coup de Disgrace…The Aisha Buhari/Fatima Daura Debacle: Before The ‘Cabal’ Self-Destructs
By Chinedu Okpara
If nothing else buttressed the omnipotent powers and vicelike grip of Mamman Daura, the nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, on the presidency and the president himself, his daughter, Fatima’s brazen and embarrassing face-off with Aisha, the wife of the president, as contained in a viral video, is the ultimate coup de grace.
At the height of speculations that the president was getting a new wife rumoured to be Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, a video emerged of a raging woman inside an expansive room complaining, in an admixture of English and Hausa, of how an apartment was under lock and key in spite of the hordes of security personnel in the villa, and distinctly saying, “Enough is enough.” The video would later be revealed to have been in circulation since 2017.
In an interview with the BBC Hausa on her return from the United Kingdom where she had been for over three months, Mrs Buhari said, “I was the one in that video and this person you see standing at my back are my security personnel.” She continued, “It was Fatima, the daughter of Mamman Daura that shot the video in front of my security and everybody there. She was actually recording the whole thing right in front of me and was laughing and mocking me. They did that because my husband sacked them from the house. He told them to get all their belongings and leave the house for my son (Yusuf) to occupy. I left them and wanted to get to one of the rooms but they prevented me from getting through. I left them and took another way yet, I met the store locked.”
In a separate interview, Fatima, who admitted to recording the video, traced the relationship between her father and the president to when they were very young, how the president allocated the Glass House to them– a place originally meant for the children of a sitting president – and described the First Lady as abrasive and violent. Fatima said that when Yusuf, the first son of the president, had an accident and returned from Germany, the president asked that the Dauras vacated the Glass House for another apartment within the villa so he could convalesce. However, she said that Mrs Buhari did not wait for the time given by the president for them to vacate before she stormed the Glass House to forcefully eject them. “I recorded it to show our parents and the security so that they will know the truth should anything happen because the way she was raging and shouting, I thought 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,” she said.
What Fatima didn’t say was that long before Yusuf’s accident, Mrs Buhari had requested in writing for the Dauras to vacate the building which is officially designated for the biological children of any serving president. The IG of Police, DG DSS and the NSA were all notified of this request. Despite this, the Dauras deliberately refused to comply with the instructions of the security agencies.
Before that 2017 incident, the wife of the president never hid her disdain for some of the people around her husband. In 2016, she famously took a swipe at the cabal which she said had hijacked the presidency from Buhari, saying, “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 for 27 years. Some people are sitting down at their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or ministerial position.” This was in apparent reference, according to those who should know, to Mamman Daura, Abba Kyari, Lawal Daura and Isa Funtua.
If there is anyone Buhari always listened to and confided in over the years, it is Daura. This is a relationship that predated Aisha’s wedding to Buhari in 1989. Daura runs what is called the ‘Daura Mafia’ within the Buhari presidency and incidentally shares his last name with Buhari’s home town in the parched lands of Katsina.
When Buhari overthrew Shagari in 1983, Daura was one of the few people he trusted enough to give principal advisory roles. He later succeeded Ibrahim Dasuki as the head of the African International Bank and went on to serve as chairman of the board of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). Lawal Idris, an ally of Buhari for over 45years, once declared in a chat with Daily Trust that Daura controls the presidency; adding, “As long as Buhari cannot get Mamman away from his side, his problem will continue. Firstly, Mamman is a sadist and has no respect for anybody, not even Buhari. The problem is that the godfather never sleeps, which is Mamman Daura.”
Similarly, Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff, though an associate, never openly identified with Buhari’s aspirations on the three times he first contested for the presidency before luck smiled on him in 2015. In fact, throughout electioneering, Kyari played virtually no role. Yet, he currently holds the most powerful position in the government, a fact that is further lent credence with the pronouncement recently by the president that any minister that wants to see him must go through Kyari. Kyari was brought into the presidency by Daura. But it is not only this septuagenarian Daura that controls the levers of power in the presidency. There’s a younger Daura in the scheme of things.
Appointed as the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2015 when Buhari was inaugurated as Nigeria’s president, Lawal Daura has a chummy relationship with Buhari as he often joins him for the Friday Jumat services inside the mosque close to the President’s office. He was born in Daura as Buhari. He was brought out of retirement to be appointed as the successor of Ita Ekpeyong as DSS DG in 2015. He was, however, sacked last year due to the invasion of the National Assembly by DSS operatives who prevented the lawmakers from gaining access into the premises. Daura may have been sacked but he still wields considerable power in the security architecture of the presidency. Now, there is a groundswell of rumours that he may be prepping to return as DG of the DSS as he has lately been sighted at the M16 in the UK and other international security agencies on behalf of Nigeria.
On June 24th, 2019, an unusual political activity took place in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. A public demonstration staged by the APC Concerned Nation Stakeholders led by one Dr Symeon Chilagorom who proclaimed that they were protesting against internal forces pulling down the administration of President Buhari. Chilagorom specifically identified Daura, Samaila Isa Funtua and Kyari as members of the group that is pulling down the administration. In his words, “the people of this country elected Muhammadu Buhari as their President, not Mamman Daura, Samaila Isa Funtua and Mall Abba Kyari.” The demonstration was widely reported in the media.
Like Mamman Daura, Funtua has no official designation in this government. Yet, he reportedly calls the shots as far as appointments of board members into most federal parastatal are concerned. He is reputed to be the ‘go-to man’ for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria while many of the multinational deals brokered with the Federal Government were said to have passed through him. Funtua has earned the sobriquet of the money-man of the administration. Unconfirmed reports recently linked him to the acquisition of a huge amount of shares of defunct Etisalat and Keystone Bank.
These are the people Mrs Buhari has been waging a war with privately and publicly. Even though she did not explicitly say what she was doing in the UK for that long, feelers are that she took a break from the whole drama as she prepares to break the hold of the cabal on her husband and Nigeria as a whole. And, it is a mission that the generality of Nigerians seem to be battle-ready to help her win especially with the revelation of the disrespect meted out to her by Fatima.
Chinedu Okpara is an Owerri, Imo State based Public Affairs Analyst.
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