The Presidency, has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha Buhari’s absence from the country for about two months now, is not due to any infighting at the Aso Rock Villa.
The Presidency’s reaction came amid the speculations that Aisha is uncomfortable with how government affairs are 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 that the President’s wife has the freedom to travel to wherever she wants, as a free citizen.
Recall, that Aisha has not been in the country for nearly two months, since the completion of Hajj. She reportedly jetted out of Saudi Arabia, where she went in the company of her husband, to London, United Kingdom, at the completion of the religious pilgrimage, in August.
She has not returned to the country since then, 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 the Aso Villa, became pronounced, as she did not attend public functions that she ordinarily would have attended.
She was said to have been absent during the mid-August Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, in Daura, Katsina State, even though her husband was around to welcome World Leaders, such as the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde.
It was reported that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration, Dr. Hajo Sani, has been representing Aisha on a number of occasions recently, including an event of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development, which held on September 25, 2019, on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, UNGA74, in New York, United States, US.
The event was said to have been attended by the First Ladies of Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Niger Republic.
Although, Mrs. Buhari’s Office confirmed that she is indeed away from the country, it said that it has nothing to do with issues she had with anyone at the seat of power, in Abuja.
The Office stated that as a free Nigerian who is 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”.
Speaking after the case of Aisha’s absence from the country was raised, her Spokesperson, Haruna, insisted that the President’s wife has the freedom to be wherever she wants to be.
He said: “It is a free world, and people have been speculating about everything in this country and it is allowed.
“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 is no longer comfortable with how the affairs of government are run, and her alleged frequent brushes with some top Administration Officials, including the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, the Director dismissed them as rumours.
“I am in shock when I hear all these things. I do not 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.