The First Lady, however, stated that the President has done well in the delivery of good governance. The event was also attended by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo. Mrs. Buhari urged Nige- rian women to rise up and fight.
When the Political Adviser to the President, Senator Babafemi Ojodu, was signalling to the First Lady to move away from the topic, she said: “I have realised that Senator Babafemi Ojodu, Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, and Dr. Hajo Sani, my aide, Sajo, and wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Osinbajo, are not comfortable with me saying this and want me to confine myself to my prepared speech, but we must say the truth.”
The President’s wife insisted that the two powerful people are retrogressive elements preventing the government from moving forward. This is not the first time the first Lady would be critical of her husband’s government and its functionaries.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Aisha had stated that Buhari’s government had been hijacked by only a “few people”, who were behind presidential appointments. According to her, the president did not know most of the officials he appointed. The First Lady stated that people who did not share the vision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were appointed to top posts because of the influence a “few people” wield.
Her words: “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,” she said.
When asked to name those who had hijacked the government, the First Lady simply said: “You will know them if you watch television.” Asked whether the president was in charge, Mrs. Buhari had said: “That is left for the people to decide.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Buhari has observed that during the last election, women participated fully in the voting process and ensured that APC was elected. According to her, “That is why the government of President Buhari came up with social investment programmes targeted at them and their children in order to engage them and reduce the level of poverty among them.
“I wish to call on women to spread the good news and accomplishments of the present administration. “I also call on you to propagate our party manifesto which promises to change the lives of Nigerians and what it has achieved so far,’’ she said.
She called on women not to relent in their effort at sensitising and mobilising women to ensure the success of the party in the 2019 elections. Mrs. Buhari said with commencement of campaign for the 2019 elections, the key areas for APC women would be critical information sharing, security awareness and advocacy against vote buying.
She said that the summit had set the tune for Buhari/Osinbajo support groups to go on with the 2019 campaign.
The wife of the president, therefore, appealed to participants drawn from the 774 local government areas of the country to reflect on the achievements of the Buhari administration. In her contributions, the wife of Vice-President, Mrs. Osinbajo, said that the APC government had performed creditably in the fight against insurgency and the rebuilding and rehabilitation of victims of insurgency and their communities.
On her part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Hajo Sani, urged women to be resilient in the effort to ensure the re-election of Buhari/ Osinbajo in the 2019 election. According to her, women are convinced that the Buhari administration had completed and initiated new road projects as well as other infrastructure developments across the country.
Sani restated the commitment of the wife of the President to better the lives of women and children through gender balancing in Nigeria. Also, the former Deputy Governor of Plateau, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, appealed to Nigerian women to give the Buhari/Osinbajo a chance in the 2019 elections to consolidate on their achievements. Earlier, the APC National Woman Leader, Hajiya Salamatu Baiwa, urged APC women to shun campaign of calumny.