The Presidency has dismissed reports that the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has left the country and temporarily living in London in protest against “certain developments” in the presidency.
Suleiman Haruna, the Director of Information to the Mrs. Buhari, on Sunday, while confirming her absence, insisted that her absence from the country had nothing to do with the reported infighting at the Presidential Villa.
Concise News understands that Mrs. Buhari has been out of the country for about two months now, raising concerns at Aso Rock.
According to Daily Trust, multiple sources at the presidential villa have said that the First Lady, who left the country early August to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj (Muslim pilgrimage), has not returned to the country.
“Mama (first lady) is in London. It was from Saudi Arabia that she went to London,” one source told Daily Trust.
Asked when Mrs Buhari is likely to return, the source said, “I don’t know. All I know is that she is in London.”
It was gathered that the absence of the First Lady became obvious after she did not appear alongside her husband at some recent official functions, followed by the way she was conspicuously absent during the Eid-El-Kabir celebration in Daura, Katsina State.
The President hosted many dignitaries including Guinean president, Alpha Conde, during the Sallah celebrations.
In early July this year, Mrs. Buhari supported her husband to host the Ambassador Extraordinary.
It has been observed that recently, at public events, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on administration, Dr. Hajo Sani, has been representing the president’s wife.
According to the report, on September 25, the First Lady was represented at an event of the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York by Dr. Hajo.
However speaking to the Punch on Sunday, Haruna stated that Aisha Buhari had the freedom to travel to wherever she wanted, as a free citizen.
He said, “It’s a free world and people have been speculating about everything in this country and it is allowed.
“She is a free Nigerian and does not work for the government. So, if she decides to stay somewhere in her village for two months or to go somewhere and stay for two months, why should it become a national issue?
“She is a free Nigerian and has absolute freedom to move around for however long she wants.”
Speaking on speculation that the First Lady was no longer comfortable with the running of government and her alleged frequent brushes with some top government officials, including the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, Haruna dismissed such speculations.
“I am in shock when I hear all these things. I don’t believe in all these rumours about the President’s wife because they are not true.
“That is why, most times, the office does not bother to react to these speculations,” Haruna added.