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Buhari Reneged On His First-Term Pre-Election Promise

Photo Credit: HuffPost Canada 2 mins read

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. 

Full Text

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: 

Screenshot of WhatsApp Claim

Verification

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

The WhatsApp message apparently started flying on October 17; following the approval for the appointment of new aides for the office of the First Lady by President Buhari as reported by the media.

According to the Guardian, Suleiman Haruna- Director of Information for the First Lady – confirmed this. The President approved the following names and designations:

  1. Dr Mairo Almakura as Special Assistant on African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM); 
  2. Muhammed Albishir Special Assistant on Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD);
  3. Wole Aboderin Special Assistant on Non-Governmental Organisations.
  4. Aliyu Abdullahi as Special Assistant on Media and Publicity; 
  5. Zainab Kazeem- Special Assistant on Domestic and Social Events;
  6. 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.

Conclusion 

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.

Ebere Agozie is a Senior Correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) with a staff strength of about 880, Joined in 2014 as a correspondent. Currently covering Agriculture and Environment beats from the headquarters of the Agency in Abuja. She had covered other beats including Culture and Entertainment, and Science and Technology, with reportage on different themes. Her works were aired on multiple networks through the NAN platform. She is also the winner of the 2018 COORDINATOR'S OPEN FORUM FOR AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY(OFAB) MEDIA AWARD FOR BEST PRINT REPORTER". Prior to joining NAN, she was the Operations Manager, AULIC Nigeria Limited, the concessionaire of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex - 2012; Head, Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, Aulic Nigeria Limited from 2009 to 2012. She rose from the position of the Public Relations Officer to Head of Public Affairs at FABER Expressions, a Radio/Television Production firm – 2000-2009. She is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Institute of Management and Technology(IMT), Enugu, (HND) -1998. And holds a Master of Business Administration(MBA) from the Lagos State University (LASU) - 2007.

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