Aisha Buhari's supporters increase as she slams Her Husband

Several reactions have trailed Aisha Buhari’s comments that she may not back her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the 2019 election unless he (the President) reshuffles his cabinet.

Aisha Buhari had in a BBC interview expressed her displeasure in President Buhari’s government as she said that the President does not know most of the appointees in his cabinet.

She also suggested that the President’s government had been hijacked by a few people, who were behind the presidential appointments.

In the interview, Mrs. Buhari said, “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.

“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.”

When asked to name those who had hijacked her husband’s government, she refused, saying, “You will know them if you watch television.”

On whether President was still in charge, she said, “That is left for the people to decide.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Buhari’s comments on her husband’s government have attracted both applause and criticisms by Nigerians.

The Convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid mohammed, praised Aisha and described her comments as “100 percent correct”.

“Some of the facts she said are matters in which I have privileged information and knowledge, so I believe she was telling the truth and I do not want to question her motivation or listen to what people say. I believe it is in the interest of this country to listen to what she says before we are driven into a ditch by her husband.”

“When the chips are down, it is she, her children and Buhari’s children from his first marriage that will carry the burden. So nobody has the right to tell her what is appropriate or inappropriate.”

National Publicity secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, also said being the “closest person to the Presiddent”, Aisha’s comments should not be ignored.

“The fact remains that being the wife of the President, her views cannot just be thrown away like that. You can count on your fingers the cabinet members that know what they are doing there. There is no impartial observer of the government that will not agree that this cabinet has not performed well. It took a long time for the President to appoint his cabinet members and we had expected something more. The President should reshuffle the team and make sure he puts on board people who can deliver.”

Victor Borubo, Ijaw National Congress Spokesperson, who stressed that he was giving his personal view and not that of the organisation, described the issues raised by Aisha “as valid”.

“A good number of people in the President’s cabinet are misfits and square pegs forcing themselves into round holes. So to that extent, I agree that a lot of the cabinet members should simply give way. What if a man he says is not corrupt is incompetent, what good is he to us?”

The publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu, and a former presidential aspirant, also praised Aisha Buhari for her comments.

He said, “Aisha Buhari’s comments are welcome. She has done what most Nigerian women and men cannot do — speaking the truth as it is, not minding that she’s a beneficiary of power. It shows she’s a forward-looking, intelligent and responsible woman who knows that life doesn’t begin and end in Aso Rock.

“If she had been telling her husband and he had not listened to her, now she has put it on record as a yardstick to judge her in the future. She should be celebrated.

“What she said is what many of us had been saying, that some people have hijacked this government from the President. I have said it before and I remember the [Senate President] Dr. Bukola Saraki had also said it.

“Some people are saying she has no right to speak such things, but that’s not true. She has every right to do so, as the President’s wife and a public figure. Before the President won the election, she campaigned for him.

“So, she has the right to express what she feels about her husband’s government because she has so much to lose if her husband fails.”

But some others condemned the President’s wife’s comments.

A political analyst Hatab Fadera said it's wrong for Aisha to have gone public with her opinions.

He said on Facebook, “I think it is her fundamental right to say in public whatever she feels is not right. However, I refuse to understand the necessity of her points. I disagree in total that she has to necessarily know who the President can and cannot appoint."