CLAIM: President Buhari, during his election campaign in 2014 and 2015, promised the electorate that he will not have an office for the First Lady if elected as the president of Nigeria.
TRUE: Presidential candidate- Buhari- in 2014 promised the electorate a First Lady without an office; as part of his propaganda. However, in 2019, the Nigerian President approved the appointment of six aides for his wife; who currently occupies the office of the First Lady. This is excluding previous appointments made in previous years under his administration.
A mocking WhatsApp message has been trending, since the new appointment of the government aides of the First Lady- Aisha Buhari. The WhatsApp message reads:
We recall, an interview of President Buhari with Daily Trust. There, he promised not to have an office of the first lady if he was elected President of Nigeria. The report was published on boxing day in 2014.
“The office of First Lady is not in the constitution, so there’s no official role for them”General Muhammadu Buhari
According to the Guardian, Suleiman Haruna- Director of Information for the First Lady – confirmed this. The President approved the following names and designations:
- Dr Mairo Almakura as Special Assistant on African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM);
- Muhammed Albishir Special Assistant on Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD);
- Wole Aboderin Special Assistant on Non-Governmental Organisations.
- Aliyu Abdullahi as Special Assistant on Media and Publicity;
- Zainab Kazeem- Special Assistant on Domestic and Social Events;
- Funke Adesiyan- Personal Assistant on Domestic and Social Events.
Interestingly, Aisha Buhari has expressed appreciation to her husband- President Muhammadu Buhari; for the approval of six aides for her office.
Buhari’s administration appointed aides to the office of the First Lady way back 2015…
On July 27, 2018, Premium times‘ report show us the first appointment made for the Office of the First Lady; Hajo Sani as Senior Special Assistant on Administration, on July 2, 2015. Additionally, Hadi Uba, the second selection, appointed- Special Assistant on “Administration II”; with the designation of Personal Physician bestowed on Mohammed Kamal Abdulrahman.
Two years later, the administration made two additional appointments on May 24, 2017. The positions were for Special Assistants on Protocol and Domestic Matters to the Office of the First Lady; bestowed on Omolayo Akinfala and Fadi Rose Audu respectively.
Certainly, credible intel suggests the claim to be TRUE. In 2014, President Muhammadu Buhari promised the electorate a First Lady without an office. However, in 2019, the Nigerian President approved the appointment of six aides for his wife; who currently occupies the office of the First Lady. This is excluding previous appointments made in previous years under his administration.
Yes, we understand the fickle nature of humans with respect to keeping promises. However, this promise was supposed to be a part of his propaganda. Hence, in the spirit of transparency, the presidency or someone from his administration should have addressed this; at the very least.