- Mrs Aisha Buhari
The Presidency has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha’s absence in the country for about two months was not due to any infighting in Aso Villa.
The Presidency’s reaction comes amid the speculations that Aisha is unable to pull her weight round the Villa lately and uncomfortable with how government affairs were being run by some powerful people in her husband’s cabinet.
The Director of Information to the First Lady, Mr Suleiman Haruna, debunked the speculations and said the President’s wife had the freedom to travel to wherever she wanted, as a free citizen.
Aisha has not been in the country for nearly two months since the completion of the Hajj, where she went in company with her husband, but failed to return to the country fuelling concerns that she deliberately left the Aso Villa in protest against certain issues at the seat of power.
The First Lady’s prolonged absence at Aso Villa became pronounced as she did not attend public functions that she ordinarily would have attended.
Although Mrs Buhari’s office confirmed to the PUNCH that she was indeed away from the country, it said it had nothing to do with issues she had with anyone at the seat of power in Abuja.
The office said as a free Nigerian who was not a government official, Mrs Buhari could travel for private engagements both within and outside the country, adding that the reasons for such trips must not be tied to “needless speculation or rumours.”
“It’s a free world and people have been speculating about everything in this country and it is allowed,” her spokesperson, Haruna, said.
“She is a free Nigerian and does not work for the government. So, if she decides to stay somewhere in her village for two months or to go somewhere and stay for two months, why should it become a national issue?
“She is a free Nigerian and has absolute freedom to move round for however long she wants.”
Asked to comment on the speculation that Aisha was no longer comfortable with how the affairs of government were run and her alleged frequent brushes with some top administration officials, including the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, the director dismissed them as rumours.
“I am in shock when I hear all these things. I don’t believe in all these rumours about the President’s wife because they are not true.
“That is why, most times, the office does not bother to react to these speculations,” Haruna added.