For most of General Buhari’s first term as president, his son Yusuf Buhari and his daughter Zahra Buhari spent a lot of time under the scrutiny of the Nigerian electorate as event after event involving them made news and made many question if the president was really about all the campaign promises he had made about curbing financial excesses and separating the office of the presidency from his own personal affairs. His other children, including Hanan Buhari stayed largely out of the spotlight.
It is early in his second tenure, but it already seems that Zahra and Yusuf are about to be usurped in the limelight by another of President Buhari’s children, Hanan Buhari. Hanan first made news last weekend when she was invited by the Emir of Bauchi to document the state’s annual Durbar Festival. Hanan who is pursuing one of many interests as a photographer showed up in the Presidential jet.
Now the Presidential Jet is a symbol of executive power and has caused many a president to lose face with the Nigerian citizenry. It was one of the major points of conflict for President Goodluck Jonathan, who was severely criticized for allowing his wife, the first lady use the jet for non-official business. President Buhari had also joined in the criticizing President Jonathan for this and made reducing the Presidential fleet one of his campaign promises. The presidential fleet has only increased under president Buhari and with Hanan now using official aircraft for personal business, has voided all of President Buhari’s campaign promises on the matter.
But that is only one of two accusations of misuse of power targeted at Hanan. The other is a lawsuit filed by Anthony Okolie, a trader that was arrested and detained without charge by the DSS for using an MTN phone line formerly used by Hanan. According to Punch NG, Okolie who has evidence to show his purchase of the number after the number was recycled after being out of use for the time period stipulated by the mobile service provider. He was detained for 10 weeks and released unceremoniously.
Okolie is asking for 500 million naira in compensation from both Hanan Buhari and the mobile service provider MTN.