President Muhammadu Buhari rose yesterday in his own defence over allegation that he has abandoned his duties as Nigeria’s leader to his cousin, Mallam Mamman Daura.
He said there is no truth in the claim and he remains the country’s only president.
Buhari spoke in an interview on The Osasu Show, an online medium.
Asked by his interviewer whether “Alhaji Mamman Daura is the true president, while he (Buhari) is the unofficial vice-president,” he said: “I don’t know where they get their news from.”
He added: “I stood for the election. I visited every local government in Nigeria, I travelled by road, by air, and so on, and we had one of the most credible election. So whoever feels he has lost somehow is his own problem, I have no problem.”
Buhari similarly reacted to allegations that the humanitarian aid for children in the Northeast may have been abused by those in charge of it.
He said, “There is a legal instrument developed for how to ensure equal distribution of funds be it for food items, educational or health infrastructure.”
President Buhari pointed out that it is left for the integrity committee charged with handling the aid to share it appropriately.
First Lady Aisha Buhari had, in a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service interview earlier this month, claimed that some people she did not name were imposing political appointees on the president.
Such appointees, according to her, know little or nothing about the vision of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and are thus frustrating the government.
She threatened that she might not support Buhari’s re-election bid in 2019 if the situation persists.
“I have decided as his wife, that 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,” she said.
“The president does not know 45 out of 50, for example, of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years.
“Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position.”
When pressed to identify those imposing appointees on the president she merely said: “You will know them if you watch television.
“Some of them don’t even have voters card, and those who made sacrifice have been reduced to nothing and certainly not happy with the way things are going.”
Observers were quick to say she was referring to Mallam Daura.
Mrs. Buhari was also asked whether the president was in charge of his administration, to which she responded thus: “That is left for the people to decide.”
Moment after the interview went on air, President who was in Germany at the time, laughed off Aisha’s comment and said: “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.
“So I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition, because in the end I have succeeded. It’s not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government.”