Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has supported recent concerns raised by the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, on insecurity and other challenges facing the country.
Obasanjo, however, advised her to engage her husband in what he called “pillow talk” on the state of the nation.
The former President, according to a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, said this while playing host to the members of the Editorial Board of a Social media platform, Penpushing Media at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Boardroom.
Some groups including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, have however said Obasanjo was right to call on Aisha to tell her husband the truth.
The President’s wife, Aisha, had last week renewed her criticisms of the Federal Government’s programmes.
She had also faulted the social investment programmes of her husband’s administration, saying there was no evidence to show that the funds allocated were judiciously utilised.
Mrs Buhari had said, “I am sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano because of the population and political impact it made.”
She said she discovered that key aspects of the programme were not properly implemented in Adamawa and Kano states.
Mrs Buhari, “So, I don’t know where the social investment was successful, maybe it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefitted out of the 22.
“I did not ask what happened and I do not want to know but for it to fail woefully in Kano, it is not a good sign and it is not a good thing.”
Also on Saturday, she challenged security agencies to quickly end banditry and other insecurity challenges in the country.
“The security agents should either assist to take action or allow the situation continues until bandits finish killing our people,” she had said.
But on Monday Obasanjo said it was good that the wife of the President raised the concerns.
He urged Aisha to engage her spouse in a “pillow talk” to inform him about the true position of the state of the nation.
The former President commended Mrs Buhari for her courage to speak out on the state of the nation.
Obasanjo advised the wife of President to adopt the bedroom approach to get her husband’s attention on the challenges in the country.
He said, “We have to put all things on the table to address these problems. Mind you, we have to be sincere and genuine with ourselves. It is nice that the President’s wife is talking; I think she did well, and maybe she should also have a pillow talk with the President.
“I believe every Nigerian family, individual, group is entitled to livelihood. It is the responsibility of all to make sure we have a dignified life. That should be our aim collectively.”
The statement added that the former President advocated increased sensitization to get the desired change Nigerians were yearning for.
Earlier in her speech, the Chairman, Editorial Board of the organisation, Mrs Funke Fadugba, was reported to have said that the visit was to brief the former President about the 3rd anniversary lecture of the organisation scheduled to hold on July 19.
Obasanjo is right – Ohanaeze
Meanwhile, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke with The PUNCH, described Aisha Buhari as a patriot and a kind-hearted first lady.
He added, “She should force or cajole Buhari, her husband to the other room with pillow so they can have useful talks to address our challenges.
“Obasanjo is right. We live in a stone age here, even Rwanda and Chad are better than us now.”
Also Chief Emeka Attama, the Media Advisor to the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said President Buhari appeared not to be in charge of his government, adding had he been in control he would have known that the government intervention programmes were not reaching the right people.
“Recently, the President commented that the level of poverty in the country was too high, that Nigerians were suffering. Mr President seems not to be in charge as to know what is happening in different parts of this country because if he knew he would have known that the intervention programmes of the Federal Government was not really reaching the right people.
“However, Obasanjo is very correct, if it only requires the wife to engage Buhari in a bedroom chat to be able to address this, so be it.”
Aisha expressing frustration, says Afenifere
On its part, Afenifere said the President’s wife was right to express her frustrations on the situations in the country, despite being told by the President that her place was in the bedroom and the kitchen.
The Afenifere Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said, “One of the times Aisha spoke, the President said that her place was in the other room, and not in the political arena. So, I think, like every Nigerian, she goes to the social media to vent her frustrations and give her views.
“The former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was throwing a funny one. If Aisha was told to remain in the other room and the kitchen, then the option is a pillow talk. But there is no doubt that the situation in the country is raising concerns for every rational Nigerian. This is why the First Lady too is venting her frustrations.”
We won’t take issue with Obasanjo – ACF
But the Arewa Consultative Forum said it would not take issue with Obasanjo over his advice to the President’s wife.
When contacted on the telephone on the northern body’s take on Obasanjo’s advice to Aisha, the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim-Biu, said, “We do not want to take issue with Chief Obasanjo over his counsel to Mrs Aisha Buhari on the PMB’s administration.”