State House Conference Centre, Abuja was the venue, 2023 Presidential hopeful, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was the chairman on the occasion, Hajo Sani is the author, Professor Fatai Aremu is the reviewer and Dr. Aisha Buhari‘s book launch is the event.
Thursday was like any other day in the year, save for the fact that the the Office of the First Lady in collaboration with Women and National development, a gender-focused nonprofit, had gathered the ‘who is who in the country ‘on Abuja for the official public presentation of her biography written by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration.
According to the invitation for the event sighted on social media, a dozen billionaires were listed as presenters for the book namely; Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Arthur Eze, Bola Shagaya and Femi Otedola. Others are Muhammadu Indimi, Jim Ovia, Kessington Adebutu, Daisy Danjuma and Idahosa Wells Okunbo, while the country’s richest woman Folorunsho Alakija was invited as the Special guest of honour.
Attendees include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Leadership of the National Assembly, governors of Ekiti, Yobe, Osun and Kogi as well as other ranking government officials across Federal and state levels.
Service Chiefs, Private sector leaders, Royal fathers including the Ooni of Ife, Sultan of Sokoto, and members of the diplomatic corps were all present. The guest list is near-endless.
But guess who was avoidably absent?
President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, husband to the Chief host and patron of ‘the other room.’
As expected of the political class and in consistence with the hallmark of Nigerian elitism, it didn’t take long before glowing tributes started pouring in for the first lady during the speeches. And although the book highlights “her evolution from a silent supporter of her husband’s political adventures to an active mobilizer and campaigner that played a major role in selling him to the Nigerian electorate,” he didn’t consider it important to honour his wife with his presence.
Ironically, while the book was praised by one of the speakers at the event as an advocate tool that provides practical suggestions on overcoming institutional challenges in a difficult era, the president was absent (both virtually and physically), because he was away in London on medical tourism due to institutional failure. Talk about right advice at the right time.
Interestingly, a portion of the book narrates “how she had to visit a private clinic in 2017 after she discovered that the x-ray machine of the State House clinic was not working, despite being advised to travel to London.” She would later travel to Dubai for 3 months or so after an alleged internal squabble at Aso Rock, and then return to launch a book in grand style.
In the long run, who can tell? Perhaps, the President is just living up to the book title of ‘Being Different.’
Wo! it’s been a difficult year jare! Who COVID-19 nor kill suppose enjoy life. It’s Daddy’s Day Out.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.