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Looking beyond President Buhari’s “Kitchen and Other Room” drama

By Emeka Obieke

The drama going on between President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife Aisha will make good material for our ingenious Nollywood writers and producers.

As a material of fact, the drama brought comic relief to Nigerians who have been going through tough times because of President Buhari’s voodoo economics and weird and destructive political engineering.

What Nigerians saw playing out in London and Germany last week has been a burning volcanic magma,which burst last week and spewed it’s content into the air.

It is the fallout of the power play that has been going on in the presidential villa since the inauguration of President Buhari last year. The battle for who will control the president has been vicious among the political actors surrounding the president like hawks. It is said to be all about contract awards and political influence peddling. The president’s tribesmen have reportedly cornered all the juicy contracts and this is the core reason behind all the power play going on in the presidency.

The president’s wife, Aisha, feeling that she has been sidelined by outsiders in the grab for power, went to London to alert the world about what is going on. The woman is quite courageous giving prevailing circumstances in the country, for saying what she said about her husband. She is also a very smart woman who learnt well from her husband, who is very good at washing our dirty national linen in foreign capitals. She went to London to do her own thing in grand style.

Not one to be outdone, President Buhari himself was quick to retaliate in kind in a foreign capital too by telling his wife that he belongs to nobody and to everybody while his wife belongs to the kitchen and the bedroom.

The President’s comment was considered by many as a joke taken too far and an expensive one at that. Delivered in the heart of Europe and standing beside one of the most powerful women in the world who also happens to be the leader of one of the greatest nations on earth, it was seen as tactless, insensitive and archaic. It clearly portrayed President Buhari, who has now and again, professed respect for women, as chauvinist and an oppressor of women.

Mr. and Mrs: President Buhari and his wife, Aisha, spar in public to the consternation of Nigerians and the international community

Mr. and Mrs: President Buhari and his wife, Aisha, spar in public to the consternation of Nigerians and the international community

Within minutes of the President’s comments, millions of his countrymen were up in arms with many mercilessly slating him on cyberspace. Embarrassed by the President’s blunder, his men moved quickly to remedy the damage. Garba Shehu, his aide on Media and Publicity, in a series of tweets tried to tone down the import of the President’s gaffe by saying the comments were rendered in jest and that President’s Buhari’s love and respect for women remained intact.

Trust President Buhari who also wants to have the last word in, he quickly thrust his foot in the mouth of Shehu. Interviewed by German news medium Duestche Welle (DW), our president coolly re-emphasized that his wife’s place was really in the kitchen and that she has no place in politics!

Whilst the drama between the President and his wife may provide entertainment, there is a troubling dimension to it, which Nigerians must pay attention to.

Leaving aside the argument as to the propriety or otherwise of Madam Aisha jabbing her husband in the solar plexus in the full view of the public, Nigerians should worry that their President may have been hijacked by men to whom they did not give their mandate. It is even more worrisome when the First Lady’s comments corroborate allegations made some three months ago by Dr. Bukola Saraki, President of Nigeria’s Senate. Saraki had in July this year alleged that there was a government within government in the Buhari administration and a cabal of very few individuals were taking decisions, which were not in the best interest of the country.

At the time, the President’s men had swooped on Saraki calling him names even as they strenuously denied his allegations. Nigerians too in their millions shouted the Senate President down asking him to prepare his defence against the charges leveled against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal instead of meddling in matters that did not concern him.

When these developments are juxtaposed with Reuben Abati’s telling article last week on negative spiritual vibes and unexplained deaths in the President Villa, then Nigerians should see the drama between the President and his wife not as comedy but an unfolding tragedy.

Nigerians should take more than a passing interest in this matter before it ultimately snowballs into something very unpleasant.

Obieke is an Abuja based Public Affairs Analyst

 

Source: Today Trending News

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