Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari has discounted widespread rumors of any rancor between her and her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, which allegedly forced her to stay away from the country for an unusually extended period.
Mrs Buhari, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja via a British Airways flight told state-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) shortly after she returned to Abuja early Sunday morning; that she was in the United Kingdom to be with her children. She also disclosed that she saw her doctors while in London, adding that she has always travelled out for vacation for six weeks every year. This, she said, was nothing unusual.
”It has been a tradition for us. For like 20 to 27 years now, if our children are on holiday, we used to spend holiday with them,” Mrs Buhari said, adding: ”I never abandon my children and last year, I went to Spain and spent two months with Zahra when she gave birth.
“So, the same this year’s holiday in U.K, I fell sick. So, I stayed back to see a doctor and the doctor advised me to stay back to attend to my health. From the U.K., I travelled to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and returned to England on doctor’s advice and they also advised that I should slow down my activities.’’
Mrs Buhari said she was able to focus on her health and “family” because President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of special assistants to her office to assist her achieve her mission of improving the lives and wellbeing of women and children in Nigeria.
Her silence while she was away generated a few rumors. It was insinuated that she irked the oft-mentioned powerful cabal in the presidency and was pushed to the background. The rumors got to a head during the week when it was rumored that Buhari was going to take another wife as a punishment for the First Lady’s absence.
Social media has been awash with claims that President Buhari will be getting married to Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, because Mrs Buhari has been away for months. Several hashtags have been trending on Twitter on the premise of the wedding and the “sudden” return of Mrs Buhari to the country to stop the wedding. #TheWedding, #BUSA19, #AISHA, #Presidentialwedding; and several others.
Other local news platforms also circulated the wedding claim, citing a close source at the Presidential Villa who revealed that the marriage was scheduled for Friday, October 11, 2019. Mrs Buhari chalked the rumors down to fake news, negative impacts of which she said her family has endured in the past. “The genesis of this fake news started when my husband fell sick and perpetrators of this act were showing fake Ambulance, Hospital and dead body suggesting that my husband is dead,” she said.
“That time, I received so many calls from other first ladies and Presidents of other countries to confirm; so I called the attention of NCC, NBC and the National Orientation Agency. Fake news will lead this country to something else if actions are not taken with immediate effect.”