National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has taken a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari and others who argued that the Nigerian constitution does not assign any official role to the First Lady.
Tinubu did this stylishly on Thursday at the public presentation of the biography of Mrs. Aisha Buhari, wife of the President at the Conference Centre, State House, Abuja.
The book, “Aisha Buhari: Being different,” was written by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs, Dr Hajo Sani.
The former Lagos State governor, who chaired the occasion described the President’s wife as a voice of conscience calling politicians to be their better selves.
Though Tinubu didn’t mention any name, recalled that Buhari, then APC presidential candidate in an interview he granted to Weekly Trust in December 2014, had said he would not have an office of the First Lady should he emerge as President.
He gave as his reason the fact that the office is not provided for in the constitution, and suggested that the Ministry for Women Affairs should be allowed to play its role unhindered.
“Given the First Lady’s achievement, no one can reasonably question the role of a First Lady any longer. Remember that there were those who argued that the constitution does not assign any official role to the First Lady. With Mrs Dr Aisha Buhari, their concerns have been forever laid to rest.
“First Lady has played an uplifting, unifying role both in symbol and substance. She has been a voice of conscience calling us to be of our better self for the good of the nation and for the vulnerable among us,” Tinubu said.
Aisha had a few weeks after the 2015 presidential election revealed that it was Tinubu who convinced her to join the campaign train of Buhari.
The First Lady was absent at Buhari’s campaign rallies until January 13, 2015 when she was unveiled at an APC rally at the M.K.O. Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun state.
“It was my personal decision not to come out for campaign because I needed to take care of the home front while her husband was in the field campaigning,” she said.
“It was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who talked me into it before I decided to join the train.”
Meanwhile, the relationship between Buhari and Tinubu has been a subject of public discourse of late, especially as the 2023 presidential election gets closer.
Political analysts have rumoured the presidential ambition of the former governor of Lagos State but some chieftains in the South-West tenaciously believe that Buhari will not hand over power to him.