The presidency has made it known that no official portfolio has been assigned to Aisha, the wife of President Buhari, countering the reports that she has taken up the position of the “First Lady’s office”.
Vanguard reports that this came against the news that went round recently that Aisha has taken over the office of the first lady. The office has however been renamed “Office of the Wife of the President”, and it has been stated that Aisha Buhari would, for now, be responsible for women and youth related issues in the country.
Describing the news as totally false and fictitious, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said that even though there was absolutely nothing wrong with Mrs. Buhari making use of the office space reserved for the First Lady, she had not done so in her capacity. Shehu further said the era of first ladies being in charge of oil wells and doling out licences is now a thing of the past.
“President Buhari promised that there would be a clear difference between the role played by his wife during his tenure and that played by many previous First Ladies. “All that ostentation, ubiquitousness and arrogance we have come to expect from the office are over and done with. Change has come. “The ideal platform from which she will be useful to Nigeria’s women and children is still being thought out. Once this has been concluded on, Mrs. Buhari’s role will become clearer to all Nigerians. There will be nothing shady or hidden about it. There will be no access to public funds. It will be purely private and voluntary”, he said.
Shehu said Aisha Buhari only stepped into the office during the handing over of the last administration. The presidential spokesman said that even the meeting in which Aisha Buhari hosted the wives of governors, was held in a section of the Villa’s banquet hall, not in the First Lady’s office. “Her only visit to that office was at the point of the take-over of the Villa by the incoming administration. “Out of respect to Mrs. Buhari, the Sierra-Leonian First Lady, Mrs. SiaKoroma recently surrendered her position of head of Africa’s First Ladies to Mrs. Buhari, inviting her to take up the same seat which Mrs. Jonathan hurriedly handed over a few weeks to the handover of her husband’s government to President Buhari. Again, all these things are currently under consideration and no decision has been arrived at presently,” Shehu said.