Aisha Buhari resurrects old wounds with Garba Shehu, requests his ouster
The First Lady Aisha Buhari has resurrected her old wounds with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Daily Mail source said on Sunday.
It is understood the passing away of the most influential member of the President Muhammadu Buhari inner caucus, Abba Kyari, has opened wide flanks for the First Lady to avenge “all acts of disloyalty, lies and cook up false claims just to win favour.”
According to the source, the order to disallow key presidential aides and members of President’s cabinet entry into the villa on Saturday after attending the burial rites of the late Kyari was issued by Mrs Buhari.
Mallam Shehu was the obvious target the source said. But Shehu in a series of tweets on Sunday downplayed his attendance of the rites and the decision form the First Lady in an apparent attack.
In one of the tweets, Shehu said: “There is nothing extraordinary about those of us who attend (attended) Abba Kyari’s funeral being advised to distance ourselves from the Villa.”
He however faced backslash as he was taken to task with many calling him double-faced.
However, The First Lady and Shehu have not enjoyed the best of working relationship with a source saying Shehu had sowed seed of discord against Mrs Buhari and ensured she had limited roles in the government.
He had also ignored directives regarding some tightening of the security in the villa with Shehu most often opening telling everyone to ignore her.
This open contempt usually got to the ears of the First Lady a source with adequate knowledge of the frosty relationship said.
It was reported that Shehu used his privileged position of seeing the late Kyari to warm himself to him and ensured the late chief of staff issued directives in utter contempt and disregard to the First Lady.
It was also reported that Shehu had openly vowed to make sure “she does not have ways like others because she would disgrace the President,” which began the pair’s hatred and animosity.
Shehu had also been accused to ensuring the late chief of staff blocked important and frequent communication with her husband, in so many cases denying the First Lady opportunity for crucial meetings or even seeing her husband.
Expressing her displeasure the First Lady openly condemned Shehu’s disposition to be on her path in a scathing letter released in December 2019.
She accused Shehu of abdicating responsibility but fabricating salacious fallacies and “clutching at straws.”
She had warned such antics were never going to be tolerated but a source said Shehu “remained dogged to ensure she didn’t have her way. If it was possible Shehu would have excised that Office of the First Lady.”
But revenge is best served cold and the first lady is determined to make Shehu’s position untenable already issuing directives to ensure the next chief of staff abides by her orders.
It’s reported she is determined to take her pound of flesh now that she has easy access to the President regardless of who is officially announced as the next chief of staff.
She has also devised means to whittle down the influence (over bearing influence) of the next occupant of the office based on her experience in the hands of Kyari and Shehu, who formed “dangerous pair against her.”
The source said, “She has almost taken control. She now has access to the President. They both talk frequently and the relationship is good again.
“I think with what I heard, a lot of things would be told the President. Shehu’s position most likely would not last for long,” the source with link to the First Lady said.
He pointed out that Shehu has begun to lick his wounds by venting his frustration on everyone on Twitter. “He had also spoken to few friends, one of whom had told the First Lady. At this stage every one wants to be her friend, so a lot of revelations are happening.
“I can tell you she’s in charge and in charge for good.
“She wants him gone.”
Asked if she had communicated that position to the President, the source said, “I can’t tell but she wants him gone.”
The First Lady’s Full letter on Shehu reproduced below:
Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries
Nigeria’s development is hinged on the ability of public officials to execute their mandates professionally, and to be shining examples in their various areas of endeavor. It is not a good sign when officials abandoned their responsibility and start clutching at straws.
As spokesperson of the President, he has the onerous responsibility of managing the image of the President and all the good works that he is executing in the country. Rather than face this responsibility squarely, he has shifted his loyalty from the President to others who have no stake in the compact that the President signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015 and 2019.
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 4 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 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.
Mr. Shehu was privy and part of the plan and it’s execution and he was shocked when he realized that I had publicized my return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019 and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media, a job he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his Principal and his family.
Garba then, vented his anger on the National Television Authority (NTA) Management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job. I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga.
It is at this late hour that I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu who claimed that the government will 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 realize the fact that First Lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution.
Today, even without a budget, I am able run my humanitarian programmes.
In saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers.
GARBA SHEHU NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.
The latest of his antics was to wage a war on the first family through an orchestrated media campaign of calumny by sponsoring pseudo accounts to write and defame my children and myself.
Based on Garba Shehu’s misguided sense of loyalty and inability to stay true and loyal to one person or group, it has become apparent that all trust has broken down between him and my family due to the many embarrassments he has caused the Presidency and the first family. We all have families to consider in our actions and therefore it is in the best interest of all concerned for Garba Shehu to take the advice of the authority, given to him sometimes in the first week of November, 2019.
Aisha Muhammadu Buhari
First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Edited by John Onu, political editor