On the afternoon of Friday, December 11, 2020, Nigeria’s President was reported to have left Aso Rock, for some alone time in his hometown of Daura, Katsina. In the early hours of the next day, Government Senior Secondary School Kankara – less than 200km from Daura, was attacked by armed bandits, and over 300 of the school’s 800+ students remain missing. The message was clear, nowhere is safe if even the president’s proximity is not enough to deter bandits from striking at the citizens he is sworn to protect.
But the message is getting even clearer as reports emerged today that First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has been away from the presidential villa for 3 months and counting. Her reason? Aso Rock is not safe for her family. And she may be right.
In June this year, a shooting incident in the villa made the news. It was attributed to the First Lady’s Aide-De-Camp, who fired shots in an attempt to remove the President’s Personal Assistant, Sabiu ‘Tunde Yusuf from the villa because he refused to do the mandatory 14-isolation after a visit to Lagos.
Following the incident, the president fired his security detail, a move inside sources claimed could further worsen the in-house tussle between power blocs in the villa. Among those fired by the president are the ADC to the First Lady and all security detail attached to her. This can justify her concern over her safety in the villa.
Between the spots of insecurity all over the North and in some parts of the south in Nigeria, the daring attack by bandits in Kankara with the president in town, the protracted kidnapping issue on Kaduna-Abuja expressway, and recently a broad daylight attack on air commodore Akin Johnson rtd who was out for his morning jog in Lugbe, Abuja, the insecurity situation in Nigeria may be so much worse than we imagine.
The revelation that the country’s First Lady felt unsafe enough to flee Nigeria’s seat of power – Aso Villa, is telling a disturbing story. One will think the least expectation President Buhari can fulfil – even to pass as doing something, is to give a sense of security to the immediate family he shares the hilltop villa with.
If there was any doubt about his lack of capacity for the job he seems dogged about keeping even as he fumbles his way through it one blunder after another, this revelation should be enough to clear that doubt.
No one is sure when the First Lady will return to Nigeria, but as many Twitter users pointed out – if the First Lady of the country can flee for safety, what more proof is needed to show that President Buhari has failed as our president and should be impeached if he can’t honourably resign?