10 November 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, is said to be in covert support of the presidential candidacy of Atiku Abubakar, who is running against her husband.
A close associate of the president’s wife informed Naijiant.com that she “cuts an isolated figure in Aso Rock”, the presidential villa, and has been “marginalised” from the administration. Mrs Buhari warned the president over two years ago, in a BBC interview, that she may not back him when he seeks reelection in 2019. This was because his administration had been “hijacked” by a “few people”.
Those chosen few, known in Nigerian political circles as “the cabal”, include Buhari’s nephew Mamman Daura and his chief of staff, Abba Kyari. Daura was captured on a leaked audio tape released last year in which he disparaged Aisha Buhari as “the suicide bomber from Yola”. This showed that the bad blood between the president’s wife and the president’s men is mutual.
Mrs Buhari comes from Yola in Adamawa state and it is also the home state of Buhari’s opponent, Atiku. The president’s wife is also close to one of Atiku’s wives and an Atiku close associate Aisha Jumai Alhassan, who resigned as recently as minister for women affairs in the Buhari regime.
There is an even stronger link between Aisha Buhari and Atiku. Both were suspects in the Halliburton bribery scandal. Aisha Buhari was alleged to have received $1.8m in bribes. It was suspected that she was at the time just a front for Atiku.
Our source said that “Atiku is like her uncle” and her closeness with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, her disillusion with Buhari’s regime, and her greed, have meant she has pitched her tent in the Atiku camp. But can obviously only do this secretly. The president’s wife “just doesn’t think she has cornered enough juicy deals befitting for her position” and she blames the cabal for this. It appears that she has resolved to punish them for this by helping drive them out of power.