The Atiku-Agbaje Media Engagement Network (AAMEN) has described the drafting of Aisha Buhari into the President’s campaign team as a bribe by the APC government, which is meant to silence the outspoken First Lady.
AAMEN also faulted the inclusion of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who was on Wednesday, announced as a member of the Aisha Buhari-chaired All Progressives Congress (APC) Women and Youths Presidential Campaign team. The campaign team also have the wife of the Vice-President, Dolapo Osinbajo, as Co-Chairman.
In a statement to Journalists in Lagos,Thursday and signed by its Executive Secretary, Felix Oboagwina, the group alleged that the only rationale for bringing Alli on board was to make him to funnel Customs revenue into the President’s re-election project.
“In addition,a national paramilitary institution whose personnel bear arms cannot be headed by a man neck-deep in partisanship.It is dangerous for everybody,” AAMEN warned.
The group further dismissed Buhari’s appointment as APC’s usual style of blackmailing, arm-twisting or corrupting opposition voices, stressing that the issues the President’s wife raised were too pertinent to be swept under the carpet and should be given urgent attention.
“If the APC goons feel they can make Mrs Buhari’s objective voice to disappear, let them know that it will be a lot more difficult making her allegations go away,” AAMEN said.
According to the group, in the past, the president’s wife had accused the administration of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians.
“Apart from revealing at a public forum the absence of basic drugs in the Aso Rock Presidential Clinic, despite huge budgets yearly allocated to the facility, the President’s wife also accused two unnamed powerful men of being behind president Buhari’s lack-lustre performance, tagging them “retrogressive elements.”
“In October 2016, Aisha Buhari openly criticised the President for appointing people unconnected with his 2015 election, and threatened: “If things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote, like I did before. I will never do it again.”
The group further noted that the president’s wife also criticised the last APC primaries, charging the party leadership with impunity and imposition of candidates after collecting bribes.
AAMEN, however, added that the onus lay on Aisha Buhari to prove to the world that the appointment had not bought over her conscience and that she remained as credible as her outbursts had made her in the eyes of Nigerians and the entire world.
“They have discovered that she would not bend to barks and bites, so they used the appointment to bribe her. But Aisha must prove that she did not make those damning allegations just to draw attention and get settled like so many other people that the administration has succeeded in capturing and silencing with its usual ‘if you cannot beat them you must join them’ and carrot and stick method.”
The group concluded that with the bribing of the President wife, “APC has lost its last redeeming feature. She represented the last shred of decency in this regime, a regime that has spent its entire life flying propaganda and falsehood. Successfully silencing her dims all hope that this government is redeemable.”