The wife of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Aisha, says the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, now takes orders from Buhari’s powerful nephew, Mamman Daura.
In a statement she personally signed on Wednesday, Mrs Buhari said it was Daura that ordered Shehu to issue a statement to say that the office of the first lady had been scrapped.
The cabal, it was learnt, directed the aides to stop the Nigerian Television Authority from airing an interview she granted journalists on her return to the country in October.
Aisha, in the statement she issued very early on Wednesday, said, “I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu, who claimed that the government would not allow office of the first lady to run. He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President. This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realise the fact that the first lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution.”
Mrs Buhari said when she returned from her long visit to Europe, she granted an interview to the NTA at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, where she revealed that it was Daura’s daughter, Fatima, that leaked a video showing her protesting the excesses of the Daura family.
She alleged that rather than do his job and clear the air, Shehu ensured that her media aides and some members of staff of the NTA were suspended because of the interview.
Shehu is willing tool of cabal – Aisha
Aisha added, “To make matters worse, Mr Shehu has presented himself to these people as a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so.
“The blatant meddling in the affairs of a first lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves. We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost four years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s daughter, Fatima. The public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr President. Garba Shehu as the Villa spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place. Consequently, his action has shown a complete breakdown of trust between the first family and him.