There is new Nollywood material from Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power, and the actors are First Lady Aisha Buhari, President Muhammadu Buhari, Mamman Daura and Fatima Daura.

For years, Mrs. Buhari has told anyone who cares to listen that a mafia has hijacked her husband’s presidency. She never misses a moment to diss this ‘all powerful cabal’ for usurping her and her husband’s powers.

She has taken a dig at this faceless cabal during interviews, she has ripped into them on her social media pages and she once threatened not to vote for her husband if he didn’t unshackle himself from within the loins of this cabal.

Aisha Buhari has taken on the mantle of ‘Cabal Slayer.’

Now, Mrs. Buhari wants the world to know that a video in which she was seen shouting herself hoarse inside the presidential villa, was one more example of this cabal submerging its talons right into her.

She wants the world to see how this cabal is making life difficult for her in the presidential villa. She wants Nigerians to realise that this cabal she has been singing about since 2015, now wants to throw her out of the villa.

“The person in that video was me. The event happened in the villa under the supervision of my security officers right behind me if you look at the video. But they failed to do anything about it because it was Mamman Daura’s daughter Fatima who shot the video. So, both me and the security, our hands were tied to do anything. And it continues up till today,” Mrs. Buhari said as she arrived the country after rumours circulated for weeks that she had finally abandoned her marriage and fled abroad. 

Buhari and Aisha share a joke after one of his medical trips abroad (Presidency)

As a matter of fact, Mrs. Buhari had to make the trip back to Nigeria after rumours emerged that her husband had all but concluded plans to marry one of his ministers as her replacement. 

These days, Mrs. Buhari cuts the figure of a powerless first lady who has been stripped of her powers by the cabal and who is about to be replaced as wife of the president by this same cabal. They are those who swear that the wedding has only been delayed. That President Buhari will eventually pick a second wife because this is what the cabal has decreed, and kick Aisha out of the villa.

Mamman Daura, the 80-something-year-old who has been described in various reports as the president’s cousin or uncle, has long been ascribed with the title of head of this cabal Mrs. Buhari despises and condemns so much.

And in the last 48hrs, Fatima who is Daura’s daughter, has shared tales of how Mrs. Buhari is a violent and quarrelsome so and so; and how she once used a metal chair to crack open a mahogany door.

“There are even other clips that have not been released. I will send them to you to see how she (Aisha Buhari) was insulting the security and how she drove them away saying who are they protecting and calling them bloody idiots. It’s all on the video clip. That was what happened,” Fatima Daura sings in a new BBC Hausa tape.

Mamman Daura and President Buhari in the UK (Daily Nigeria)

This, dear reader, is what the ‘underbelly’ of the Nigerian presidency feels and looks like today. To hear the women who roam the number one address in the land tell it, Aso Rock is a circus. A playground of some sort. A den of vested interests. A place where a mafia has set up shop with the goal to displace the first family while at it.

Aisha Buhari looks ready to fight for her place in the power corridor even though she is increasingly looking battle weary before the cameras. Fatima and the cabal appear to be telling her they have tolerated her ills for so long and have had enough. And Buhari is silent in the face of it all. Some would say his hands are tied. In fact, his wife has been telling us for years that her husband’s hands are tied and that he has long lost control of his administration.

Extended family and wife squabbles are commonplace in most Nigerian homes, in any case. Nuclear and extended family members are often enmeshed in some drama of some sort over who should call the shots in the home, especially if the husband of the home is as famous, influential and rich as the president. The lines of authority get blurred, dirt is spilled and family secrets seep into the public arena for laughs. In the end, everyone moves on.

However, the reason why the public is so riveted on this tale right now is because we are talking about the most powerful office in the land here. Last anyone checked, the Dauras were not on the ballot in 2015 and 2019.

And Nigerians have every right to be worried each time they are told that the man who runs the country isn’t the one they have elected twice in succession…that a member of the cabal got so powerful, he was allotted a flat right beside their president’s in Aso Rock.

Aisha Buhari, Wife of the President, campaigned for 4 more years for him (Punch)

Nigerians have every right to be worried each time Aisha Buhari tells them that she doesn’t recognise her husband anymore and that a powerful clique now holds him hostage, makes decisions on his behalf and decides who he should be cool with. Heck, they can even choose a spouse for him if it came to that!

A president who sits pretty whilst his wife is threatened with being locked out–assuming one side of this tale is anything to go by–is also not likely to inspire any sort of confidence among the citizenry.

Which is essentially what this is all about. And so it is that on another episode of ‘Keeping up with the Buharis’, we are reminded of this sinking feeling in our stomachs and of just how screwed we’ve all become in a ‘Next Level’ odyssey that has only just begun. 


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