Africa OP-ED Opinions 

‘War’ In The Villa: Aisha Buhari Vs The Cabal By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

Penultimate week the ‘powerful’ news went viral online eliciting concerns already expressed by concerned Nigerians to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari does not have his hands fully on the power handle. His Personal Assistant and Private Secretary, Sabiu ‘Tunde’ Yusuf (alias Idiagbon), one of the prominent members of the entrenched cabal in Aso Rock had returned from a trip to Lagos where he reportedly went to see his wife who had just put to bed. Yusuf is about the youngest member of the cabal.

Upon his eventual return to Abuja the young man in his 30s headed straight to his residence instead of undergoing a two-week mandatory quarantine as the COVID-19 pandemic regulation stipulates. Adhering strictly to the Coronavirus protocols irrespective of status in the society ought to be something every sensible individual should be taken seriously.

Upon his return to the Villa ‘Tunde’ was politely asked by President Buhari’s ADC, Mohammed Lawal Abubakar and Chief Personal Security Officer, Abdulkarim Dauda, to self-isolate in comformity with rules following the Coronavirus global health challenge. Yusuf balked refusing to go anywhere outside his comfort zone. This led to the intervention of the first family. 

Zahra, Halima and Yusuf confronted Sabiu reading the riot act to him that he must isolate himself or be removed from the Villa by force. One thing led to another, pushing to shoving and lo the Aisha ‘army’ intervened forcefully. Usman Shugaba,  the Aide-de-Camp to Mrs Buhari and her Escort Commander, DSP Sheriff Kazeem and other security aides tried to force out Sabiu but he resisted leading to physical scuffle and gun battle!

Having reportedly beaten ‘Idiagbon’ black and blue reportedly he had to flee the chaotic scene scaling the fence on to the residence of the de-facto cabal leader, Mamman Daura. Daura was said to be livid with the dangerous situation summoning a nocturnal meeting of other cabal members.

The police authorities were called in and they arrested the security personnel of the First Lady involved in the presidential fracas. They were detained for days and upon regaining their freedom they were promptly redeployed. President Buhari belatedly weighed in by firing his security details and other persons in Aso Villa over the role they played in the crisis.

Shugaba was the Chief Security Officer to the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, before he was redeployed to the Villa as ADC to Aisha few months ago. By encountering and fighting against the cabal in the Villa he must have learnt his lessons now. Perhaps this was the very first time he was sleeping somewhere for nights outside the power circles.

All parties involved in the embarrassing presidential commotion were wrong. Yes, none was right! ‘Idiagbon’ was wrong to have refused to submit himself to the 14-day isolation in flagrant disregard of the Quarantine Act signed by the President. Aisha and her children were wrong to have sought to enforce the law extra-legally. Mamman Daura and his cabal gang were wrong to have forced the FCT Police to intimidate and arrest Shugaba and co.

The President was wrong to have hastily launched an investigation into the matter instead of simply reprimanding his wife and children for taking the laws into their hands. And above all, ordering Sabiu to immediately proceed on a 14-day self-isolation. Or is the big boy above the law?

When Mallam Abba Kyari, the late Chief of Staff to Buhari returned from an official trip abroad, prior to his demise, he had doggedly refused to quarantine himself to his peril. And this led to the contamination of a good number of people (including his aides) who had contact with him.

Nigeria presents an international image of a lawless state, an animal kingdom where some ‘animals’ are ‘kings’ and ‘queens’ and therefore more equal than others. The President of the glorified large ‘zoo’ has lost it all! 

If the commotion and shooting in Aso Villa demonstrated anything it was the fact that the so-called “Daura dullard” is not in charge of anything. If he had been in charge the wife would not have decided to act alone. If he was in total control of his presidential environment ‘Idiagbon’ would have obeyed the law without anyone forcing him to do the right thing.

If the President was up to his presidential duty the chaotic event at the Villa would have been averted for fear of consequencies. If the retired General was his former old self then no one dared shoot at another in a presidential vicinity. But fortunately or otherwise he hardly knows what goes on around the Villa not to talk of current events around the world!

Pray, why would the wife of a President send his children to remove a presidential aide from the seat of power without following due process? Why must the children go for ‘war’ without their father’s approval? Must Sabiu obey their entreaties on the terms laid down? He should have been reported to his ‘master’ for action rather than engaging him violently! What interest did the cabal have by intervening and interferring in the matter on behalf of ‘Idiagbon’?

There is no love lost between Aisha and some members of the cabal. They exploited this unfortunate armed incident and assault on one of their own to go for broke! They decided to bare their fangs against an overbearing woman who has refused to recognise their importance in the system. And they had the last laugh!

The civilian Idiagbon remains a favoured ‘boy’ in power among the gerontocrats running Nigeria aground. He is said to be stupendously rich! Yet he started life in the dusty town of Daura as a recharge card seller. Today Buharism has rehabilitated him big time opening doors of opportunities from which he amassed wealth corruptibly.

Between Aisha Buhari and the cabal President Buhari must be held responsible for whatever happened to the ship of state. It is indeed his problem, and not ours, if he allowed a group of unelected unpatriotic elements hijack the presidency making the much-vaunted promised ‘change’ impossible to be realised.

SOC Okenwa
[email protected]

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