President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, has given a rare insight into the power struggles at the State House, with details of how husband’s relatives physically confronted her. In an interview with BBC Hausa, Mrs Buhari confirmed the authenticity of a video that circulated online last week, saying she was the woman seen speaking angrily in the footage.
The incident, however, did not happen now, she said. Mrs Buhari has spoken of a “cabal” that has controlled her husband, a description understood to mean a shadowy but powerful kitchen cabinet led by Mr Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura. A new video surfaced last week showing a woman speaking angrily at a location believed to be the presidential villa.
Speaking in Hausa in the new interview, Mrs Buhari said she was the person in the video and that she reacted after being denied access to parts of the villa by Mr Daura and his family. The video was recorded by Mr Daura’s daughter, Fatima.
“I was the one in that video and this person you see standing at my back are my security personnel,” the first lady said. “It was Fatima, the daughter of Mamman Daura that shot the video in front of my security and everybody there. She was actually recording the whole thing right in front of me and was laughing and mocking me.
“They did that because my husband sacked them from the house. He told them to get all their belongings and leave the house for my son (Yusuf) to occupy.
“I left them and wanted to get to one of the rooms but they prevented me from getting through, I left them and took another way yet I met the store locked,” she said. In a separate interview reported by The Cable, Fatima gave more details of the encounter.
“My name is Fatima. I am a daughter to Malam Mamman Daura… if one reasons well, he or she will understand that it is not possible to say that the wife of the president is denied access to her apartment but let me give a context,” she was quoted by The Cable as saying.
“The apartment in question is called the Glass House. You know that there are several houses and apartments in the villa. When the president got into office, he gave the Glass House to our father, Mamman Daura.
“You all know that they are friends and are related, more so, they grew up together like twins. When he became president, he gave the Glasshouse to our dad and said he should stay there. Our dad stayed there for three years now until when the president’s son, Yusuf, had an accident and went to Germany for treatment.
“When he returned, the president told our dad to move out of that apartment to an even bigger one in the villa, that Yusuf is going to stay and be treated in the Glass House. The Glass House is closer to the main presidential apartment and that will make easier access to him by his mother. It is not in her apartment which is in the main apartment. “(On that day) My mom and dad were not around. So, my dad instructed me and my elder sister, both of us are working and we go to work every morning, that we should come on a Saturday and move our belongings to the new apartment the president instructed.
“We planned to park out then and have even concluded moving all the things. All of a sudden, in the afternoon as we were busy on that errand of packing our belongings when we heard noise from outside. I was in an inner room in the house while my sister was in an outer one close to the main gate of the apartment.
So my sister went out before I could come out. “On getting there, it was the wife of the president. When she came, the door was locked and she picked a metal chair and broke the door. I have sent the picture to you. My sister that went out was almost hit by the chair. She threw the chair which broke through the door and almost hit my sister.
“I was so shocked and afraid of getting there because she was shouting and reigning abuses words and saying we should move out of that apartment. That she has never seen this kind of thing before. I then went back and picked my phone because if one is to say that she acted that way, no one would believe it without a proof. She has already been saying a lot of things depicting that she is being suppressed. Read also: Six abducted aid workers appear in Boko Haram video, beg to be freed
“So I recorded it to show our parents and the security, so that they will know the truth should anything happen. Because the way she was raging and shouting, I was thinking that she would pick something and hit us with it or something like that. That was why we recorded it. Had it been we wanted to release the video, we would have done it earlier. But you know if a video clip enters one or two hands, you can’t control where it will get to.
“There are even other clips that have not been released, I will send them to you to see how she was insulting the security and how she drove them away saying who are they protecting and calling them bloody idiots. Its all on the video clip. That was what happened.”