- I will not support you in 2019 if…
- Buhari: I don’t know which party my wife belongs
Yemi Adebowale in Lagos, Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano, Yemi Adebowale in Lagos, Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari friday in an unprecedented move publicly criticised her husband’s cabinet warning that some people who did not labour for his victory have hijacked his government, aleniating those who struggled to build the All Progressives Congress (APC).
She bluntly stated that she may not support her husband’s re-election in 2019 unless he rejigs his cabinet.
Mrs. Buhari in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also said President Muhammadu Buhari did not know most of the top officials he appointed into offices.
In a reaction, laced with laughter, the President who is in Germany on a State visit dismissed his wife’s claim saying: “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”
Presidential sources were however quick to point out that the reference to kitchen was not intended to be derogatory but humourous.
According to Mrs. Buhari: “The President does not know 45 out of 50, for example, 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 however did not mention the names of those who hijacked the government but simply said: “You will know them if you watch television.”
Asked whether the President was in charge, she said: “That is left for the people to decide. He is yet to tell me but I have decided, as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again.
“Few people have hijacked the government and they are behind all the presidential appointments and many of those holding appointments in this government were not part of the APC struggle in 2015. Some of them don’t even have voters card. Those who sacrificed are mere subjects now. They are not happy with the way things are flowing.
“We cannot fold our arms and allow some few people sabotaging the government to mismanage the lives of 170 million Nigerians. I fear for the rebellion of the 15 million masses who voted for him.”
She also disclosed that those behind the crisis felt aggrieved that they laboured for, and helped the All Progressives Party (APC) to power in 2015, but received no compensation.
However, Mrs. Buhari said her husband had not told her whether he would contest the 2019 election.
The President in his reaction dismissed his wife’s claims saying: “I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition because in the end, I have succeeded. It’s not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government.”
Buhari’s comments drew mixed reaction from his host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who briefly stared at the Nigerian President.
Our correspondent learnt that the full text of Mrs. Buhari’s interview will be aired this morning on BBC Hausa programme of “Shirn Gane mana Hanya”.
Meanwhile, excerpt of the interview has sparked fierce condemnation in Kano State.
At Jamaatul Izalatul Bid’ah Mosque in Farm Centre, Kano, Shiek Ismail Illyasu Mangu spoke to the thousands of worshipers immediately after the Jumaat prayer, calling on security agencies to arrest the first lady “because her interview is capable of inciting millions of Nigerians against her husband.
“We are sad about the interview granted by the wife of the President. We believe that opposition members in the country are using her against the government. Her statement is unfair and capable of inciting violence. It is a threat to the peace of the country and we do hope the security agencies will immediately arrest her.
“We believed that some ungrateful elements in the country are using the wife of the president to tarnish the image of the president and the country. Nigerians are not in her support. ”