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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Aisha Buhari And That BBC Interview By Reuben Abati

Read his piece below... 
Public communication is one of the most delicate challenges that people in public life face, either in the corporate or the public sector. Many people suddenly find themselves in high places, and they become a source of news, a potential interview subject, and they get chased around by journalists and other media figures who want a story, in fact, not just a story, but a scoop.
I used to explain in communication coaching classes and to the bosses whose media I managed, at one point or the other that they should never feel obliged to say things they do not want to say. No matter how aggressive the journalist may be, they should be careful what they say. 
       A journalist would make you feel at home, he or she may even reassure you that whatever you don’t want published could be edited out, and that if you don’t feel comfortable with a question, you should feel free to keep quiet. But a good journalist knows how to push you into a corner and get you, through follow up questions, to say things you may not ordinarily want to say. By the time the tape starts rolling, and you are encouraged to feel like a star, and your own tongue starts rolling, you’d be surprised the kind of emphasis, what you consider an innocent remark, would receive when it is published.  Point is: journalists, while on duty, are not working for politicians or big men and women; they are working for organizations that need stories that can sell. They want scoops that can make the headlines. That is what makes them journalists: getting the good story, the good comments, the good shots.
       After reading the interview granted by First Lady Aisha Buhari on BBC Hausa Service, I was tempted to conclude that this is what may have happened. She could have said the same things in a more delicately phrased manner.  I have always held the view that anybody at all in a public position should be sent for media training (including how to deliver speeches, poise, pronunciation skills, even basic grammar lessons) before they are unleashed on a Nigerian public that has learnt to subject the lives of public officials to utmost scrutiny.  The Aisha Buhari interview also fell short in this regard. She just gave the BBC Hausa service a scoop, which in my view has done more damage to her husband’s politics than good.
     Given the enormous effect that the interview has had on the public, I would have expected that by now, she would perhaps have tactically disowned it, put a spin on it somehow, and make it clear that it is not intended in any way to discredit, or criticize her husband’s administration. But nothing of such has happened. And what does that mean? That the interview was deliberate and that she is standing by every word she said. She has been called the “good lady in the Villa.” She has been praised for being a modern wife who can speak up, and exercise her right to free speech. She has been called fearless and assertive. The only thing I have not heard from some of the hypocritical commentators is that she would be a good Presidential candidate for 2019.
        I have also been told that she must have spoken out of frustration and that her public outburst about the existence of a cabal in the Villa, which determines who gets what appointment, to the disadvantage of members of the All Progressives Congress is making APC members who feel left out of the power-sharing process, very unhappy. But her outburst is nothing but a poor understanding of power politics. There will always be cabals around the seat of power. Power is so potent the people around the corridor will never leave it alone to the President.
       And if it is true that this cabal or the President has recruited non-APC members into the government, then that is a positive thing, it is also a positive thing that the President does not know many of the people he has appointed. He doesn’t need to know them personally as long as they come from all parts of Nigeria and they are competent men who can get the job done. The First Lady seems to assume that only card-carrying members of the APC should work for the Buhari administration. On a positive note, however, she doesn’t want anybody to hijack her husband’s Presidency and she believes those who are trying to do so do not mean well. But what does that say about her husband? 
     The First Lady is also of the view that if the present trend continues, she cannot campaign for her husband in 2019 should he decide to seek re-election. She sounded pleased with what is being done to ensure security in the North East, but she gave the impression that she doesn’t think her husband has done enough to merit a second term in 2019. Hear her:  “What I fear is the uprising of 15.4 million people”.  And consider this: “…Nobody thought it is going to be like this. But now that it is so…Sometimes when one is doing something wrong without him knowing, but when people talk to them, they should listen”. Who is that person doing something wrong and who does not listen?  
     Altogether, Mrs Aisha Buhari has passed the equivalent of a vote of no confidence in her husband, and the people around him.  This is a kind of  “home trouble” brought to the public. The biggest challenge a man can face is to have his own wife “fight” him in public. And what has happened is both unprecedented and significant considering that a Hausa-Fulani couple is involved.  It is probably the first time a lady in this position would publicly upbraid her husband and his team. Is she furious because she has been scorned, ignored, rendered powerless?
      Well, even if we were not privy to other details, she was publicly scorned when her husband sent a volcanic message from Germany that she should go back to her place in the “kitchen, the living room and the other room.”  Feminists and critics of misogyny have protested over this, quite rightly too, at a time when women are leading countries and corporations, it is incorrect and insensitive to say that the best place for a First Lady is to be a cook, a living-room-soap opera-watching detainee and a bedroom object. But given the cultural circumstances involved, this may well be the future Aso Villa fate of First Lady Aisha Buhari. She could be marked out as an ambitious woman who wants to share power with her husband, and as a threat to her husband’s politics.
        See how much damage has been caused already by the President’s counter-response: The German Chancellor glared at our President when she heard that comment about “the kitchen, the living room and the other room.”  She quickly ended their press conference. Angela Merkel is married, and she is Chancellor, but I don’t think her husband would dare tell her she is best fit for the kitchen and the other room. And imagine if Theresa May, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, Grace Alele-Williams, Omobola Johnson, Chimamanda Adichie, Joke Jacobs… had all been chained down in the “other room”.  No wonder, President Buhari’s local opponents are already making big political capital out of his un-Presidential comments, and the German public is shocked that any world leader could be so politically incorrect. The number of jokes and memes that have been designed around this husband-wife exchange are thoroughly amusing. Mrs Buhari has also handed over to critics of this administration, speaking points that would be exploited all the way till 2019, and she may well end up not as a powerful force in the Villa but as a strong voice for women’s rights.
        It is possible she may be advised soon to recruit spin-doctors to do damage control, but she may have left that rather late already. On the other hand, there is no amount of damage control that the President’s spin-doctors can sell to anyone. Whatever happens, she is cultivating a reputation as a different kind of First Lady.  Since independence, every Nigerian Head of State or President has enjoyed the support of his wife while in office: strong, fanatical support. Mrs Maryam Abacha was so supportive of her husband, while everybody condemned him, and long after his death, she has continued to celebrate his memory. Before her, Mrs Maryam Babangida brought greater colour and celebrity status to the Office of the First Lady and added much value to her husband’s tenure. 
        Mrs Fati Abubakar was a dignified presence behind her husband, the same with Mrs Margaret Shonekan. President Olusegun Obasanjo had as First Lady, the very elegant and beautiful Stella Obasanjo who mobilized support and goodwill for her husband. Turai Yar’Adua, wife of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was also so devoted to her husband’s cause, she was declared the head of the Aso Rock cabal. No one doubted her determination to protect her husband’s interest during those critical moments. You all know Mrs Patience Jonathan. She was as First Lady, her husband’s most vocal supporter. This brought her at loggerheads with some sections of the public who objected to her prominence and controversial statements, but not once did she or the other First Ladies before her, criticize their husbands in public.
       Elsewhere, First Ladies also support their husbands. With all the reported cases of dalliance and cuckoldry during the Bill Clinton Presidency, Hillary Clinton stood by her husband.  Michelle Obama has also proven to be a very good role model in this regard.  Certain positions require careful grooming. Any form of tension in the home could distract a political leader and make him seem vulnerable in the eyes of the public. Mrs Aisha Buhari may have spoken her mind, but she should not make a habit of assuming the role of a radical, in-house critic, throwing her husband under the wheels.  She ought to be thoroughly embarrassed by all the fun being poked at her husband because of that BBC Hausa interview she granted. How this matter is resolved between their kitchen and “the other room” is a family affair into which we cannot dabble.
      

49 comments:

Peter Dumore said...




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Juliet Iwuno said...

No time to waste time. Linda take note!

livingstone chibuike said...

Non of my business

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad why is the country so hard,why do people see me and think things are fine with me because I'm plumpy and pretty,they feel I must have a man that takes care of me which I don't. why did I lost my job why is so difficult for me to raise to pay my debts,not to talk of feeding properly or starting up a little trade. I'm here with hope that someone will reach out to me please assist me. Here's my email nnechichinne@yahoo.com. And pin 2aea17c4. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad why is the country so hard,why do people see me and think things are fine with me because I'm plumpy and pretty,they feel I must have a man that takes care of me which I don't. why did I lost my job why is so difficult for me to raise to pay my debts,not to talk of feeding properly or starting up a little trade. I'm here with hope that someone will reach out to me please help me. Here's my email nnechichinne@yahoo.com. And pin 2aea17c4

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote this who you epp?
More grease to your elbow Mrs Buhari! Stand up for what is right!

Amos Mohammed said...

This is interesting .ohhhhhhh chai I de church! I de come ; wait ohh!lolz

Iyke Emma said...

Nice one!

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of these administration .but dis is a good write up

Anonymous said...

gbege

Anonymous said...

Reubens Abati more ink to your pen

Eddy Ogbunambala said...

Interesting

Anonymous said...

wonderful piece. I read all of it!

millicent peters said...

Oga Reuben you never disappoint,this is an interesting read,you are indeed a role model to many,God bless you sir.

okechukwu nnoduechi said...

GOOD TO SEE







AUNTY LINDA 👩

Joyous babe,Linda ikeji first cousin said...

Which side are u Mr abati, I love what she did, truth is always bitter.I beg pack well jor.

AbokiDaWarriBoy said...

How PMB chooses to run his houshold that's his prerogative,and he has not said that's how it should be for everybody,we have never seen Obama's wife talking about the government !



~glo rule your world~ cos I do•

abi said...

Interesting write up but I think there is another way to look at this drama...check my views here... http://afropointofview.blogspot.com.ng/2016/10/mr-muhammadu-buhari-as-hero-of-aishas.html?m=1

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote dis is MAD cos aisha buhari knows Exactly what she said so don't try to change it ,no be only scoop nah crack and cocain

Anonymous said...

A country of over 170million people with millions of Drs and profs. Retired Illiterates Generals continue to rule what do you expect? I'm not surprised.

LEVI IFEANYI said...

Nigeria is like this today because those that know the truth refused to. Say the truth. Now that the first lady has spoken the truth, the evil men have started threatening her life with all sorts of analysis and criticisms. What did Maryam Abacha gained gained after supporting the dictator? Did federal government leave her to do away with the looted money? They are still paying for the evils committed by the dictator. If Buhari's allies can publicly speak against him on some wrong decisions he take, I believe that Nigeria will be better. May God protect Mrs. Aisha.

Uju Phil said...

For once in her life time, Aisha stood for the right,and I commend her for that. I only hope this isn't some kind of propaganda to achieve some heinous agenda!

Anonymous said...

God bless you my big bro. I've made it clear on this forum that, our first lady made a great mistake by not being diplomatic enough in handling a situation of this kind. I don't think she's well groomed and trained in that area..this is ur husband you're cheaply giving out to the opposition as a prey..imagine. You don't just act because you've been welcomed everywhere you go around the world for one or two things..letting the whole thing gets into your head, afterall, who really knew one Aisha exists before the election period? People voted your husband and not you so you'd better park well and refuse to let the breeze of power intoxicates you no more.

Genevieve Okoroigbo said...

Too lengthy abeg.






says, Genevieve.

andy adamu said...

Pmb did not behave nice @ all

Oluwatoyin said...

Very brilliant, uncle Reuben. But, Yoruba says, ti oju ba n se pin ka fi Han oju. I'm a feminist to the core and I respect my husband very well. I claim equal right at work's place or public, not at home. I don't blame Mrs Aisha, she has done perfectly well. It is very wrong for her not to say what she has said, if we all have eyes to see how the country has become. With bunch of clueless, trial and error technocrats called ministers and policy makers. Obama and Clinton is very brilliant, why won't their wives support them???

Vivian Reginalds said...

well...
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

sheryl pollock said...

Mrs Buhari might be right but she shouldnt have said all that in public...My wife calls me out in public and she is gone

Charles Ejiofor said...

You are just twisting the whole thing. She said "her husband has forgotten the masses" not APC members. It appears you are looking for favour Mr man

Anonymous said...

First, Ruben, you concoct that backward story about the villa being possessed by witchcraft yet you and your cohorts nearly milked the treasury and our reserve dry, throwing money around just so you could hang on to power. Now you come after the first lady, adding fuel to the fire.

Man, aren't you a sore loser? Or should we say it's witchcraft controlling you, misguiding you and not letting you know when to throw the towel? Look, you had your chance and you particularly let the masses down. You should go and hide your face somewhere. It's shameful that people like you have lost your sense of shame. Only in Nigeria do dishonorable men come out to address the public. Shio!

Anonymous said...

Ruben I disagree on a few points. Age does not need to recant her words. She is a woman crying or for help for her husband. I don't think she meant that the husband ahold have appointed people he knows. I think what she means is that he is lacking a life saging strategy in politics which is that you must have an inner crowd of advisors that you knew before you cane to power. Obama would be a one term, ineffective president if he did not have the "Chicago mob" as we call it and the Harvard crew with him. These people came to the table with the sole ambition to give Obama a strong lasting legacy and swath deadly flies from the table. Aisha so words suggest buhari is very vulnerable because he does not have this. You know this rule. It's the same thing Jonathan did that you mentioned in your earlier write up. Please let us all stop lying and acknowledge that getting work done is not about picking the brightest or most neutral persons. It is about working with a coalition of the trusted..

AOI said...

I've been waiting to hear from you on this matter. Thanks for your objectivity always.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Reuben Abati has captured the entire drama. This is so aptly put. I agree with you 100%

MlleP said...

This is a very good write-up. I concur with all he has said

Anonymous said...

Why has Abati become a writer and a critic of another government? This is nothing compared to the damage mama peace did to GEJ . Aisha has the right to cry out when things are going wrong. She is a mother and feel the pain Nigerians are going through . That is the difference!!

Emy said...

Abati, the man wey sabi. tutor them jare.

Anonymous said...

Aisha Buhari has done well..they say the truth shall set you free!!! Nouf respect Ma...

Anonymous said...

Aisha Buhari has done well. .They say the truth shall set you free. Nouf respect Ma

Anonymous said...

Shot up this is the reason truth are not in Nigeria any more,
a woman who saw strange early and cry out for the good of nation you are there talking stupid words
She saw Nigeria in a bad condition and speaking out and there you are talking Noonsense Abati?
that was the reason you deceived Jonathan government

Puddy Alpheaus said...

Dr Abalti Reuben, it's only people like you that does not see anything wrong with Buhari's evil, wicked, draconian and insensitive government. With all respect, sir, this your write up is just a rubbish. How long do you want to keep trying to be noticed by this regime, because it's evident you want to serve under Buhari. Nigerians are crying, Nigerians are also dying, many are committing suicide. People are talking and your president cares not. If it will take God to make him reason through the wife's comments, pretty good. But before she came out to voice her frustration and disappointment with the hubby, doesn't that means that she must have spoken to him over and over in the closet, while the man had remained adamant. Dr Reuben, sir, your article goes to show that if have opportunity today to talk to Buhari, you will tell him, he's done splendid, and maybe also telling him to kill Nigerians.

king said...

Hmmmmmn. Where do we go from here as a Nation?

Anonymous said...

Reuben go and get a job and a life. You lack them.

Anonymous said...

Too long. I cant read. Next pls

Olotu Fidelis said...

And how much were you paid to paraphrased all these Reuben Abati?

Highly-Favoured said...

Reuben, ur busy body is becoming too much. On whose side are u? Don't complicate the crisis.

Highly-Favoured said...

Reuben, ur busy body is becoming too much. On whose side are u? Don't complicate the crisis.

Anonymous said...

Word-smith from day-one. Always raising the stakes higher. Another unbiased and wonderful treatise from the Gadfly-Rueben Abati

Anonymous said...

Word-smith from day-one. Always raising the stakes higher. Another unbiased and wonderful treatise from the Gadfly-Rueben Abati

Eserada Emmanuel said...

When u read seasoned writers put pen to paper, u just wonder. Thanks or this Sir.

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