IT’S almost two years that President Muhammadu Buhari was elected as the country’s president and it appears things are not going well. What do you think is the problem?
There are lots of problems. I used to tell him what the people are saying about the administration. People who have worked for our victory are not happy. I am also not. However, I think security wise, we have relatively achieved more than 100 per cent. Being someone that comes from the North- East, I knew when almost nobody slept in his or her house. But now, people sleep with their eyes closed. On hunger that is prevailing in the land, you can’t expect government to put food on the mouths of every Nigerian. What government is supposed to do is to provide the leeway that will allow people to have access to what will improve their lives. So, the hardship that people are going through now was anticipated. Knowing what we inherited, it is not going to be a smooth journey. But I think so far so good, the only thing that almost everybody is not happy with, including myself, is about those that really suffered on this journey but now, people who do not even have registration cards are ruling us. This is so unfair and unfortunate for the journey that we started more than 13 years ago.
As a wife, have you been advising him?
Yes. I am always telling him that the people are complaining. My prayer is to see that he is able to meet the yearnings of the people of this country.
What can you say of the problems at the IDP camps?
This is entirely government business. I don’t have any mandate to say anything on that. My duty is to tell government about what I hear that is not going smoothly. I have an NGO that is working there (North-East). We don’t have much problem because they are being run by women. Just last week, the president ordered for the release of 65 trailers of assorted grains. Unfortunately, just one man was said to have diverted the whole trailers. To worsen the situation, we heard he was released on bail.
But some say the government should think of tackling the economic problems of the country instead of concentrating on appointment?
Yes, but if you look at the journey that we had, after the merger, we didn’t call it merger or APC again, we called it a movement because it was a collective effort of millions of people, only for us to find out that the government is being operated by a few people, very few. About four to six people who started the journey with us are in the system. Unfortunately, the people that are occupying the seats, I don’t think they have any expertise that our supporters in APC do not have. We have supporters all over the world. Those who really supported APC and felt that enough was enough, that we should have sanity in the society, are out there. It was a real collective effort. Nobody will say that ‘it was as a result of my hardwork that I brought this government, it was a real teamwork and we wish that the teamwork should continue. Everybody knows what my husband wants to achieve in four years. But having new set of people on board that were not part of us, they don’t really know what we promised Nigerians. That is the thing we are facing now.
Who are these four to five people you are talking about?
People like Ogbonnaya Onu, Amaechi, Fashola. After the merger, it was a huge group that came together and started the struggle again. It is sad that very few are in the system now. Though I heard that they are about to announce like 3000 names as board members, we feel that those who started the struggle should not be limited to board members. They should be heading agencies that will impact positively on Nigerians. Knowing what we had campaigned for, only for us to bring people that are busy telling people that they are not politicians, is a huge disrespect for politicians. Knowing that we are just starting, we have not got to 2017, not to talk of 2018 and then 2019 for us to go back to the polls. You understand what I mean?
Who are these very few people surrounding President Muhammadu Buhari and have you spoken to him about this?
Yes. Not only me in person, because after receiving complaints upon complaints, I decided to tell him. But all the same, a lot of people have been coming on their own, and also collectively, to tell him that things are not going the way they should when it comes to putting people in certain positions. Most of those that are occupying positions in agencies, nobody knows them and they themselves don’t know what we campaigned for. They were not part of us. People were sitting down in their houses, folding their arms, only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position. They don’t have a mission or vision of our APC.
Somebody listening to this will feel like President Muhammadu Buhari is not in charge of this government.
It is left for the people to decide whether he is in charge or he is not. People actually accepted his ideology and decided to follow him for the past 13 years. That is what brought him to this current position.
Are you saying that if things continue like this, you will not support his re-election bid in 2019?
Yes, I will not support him like I did before. I will not mobilise any women group. If it continues like this, I am not going to be part of any movement again because I need to work with the people that we started the journey with so that we can achieve what we planned to achieve.
How has life been since you became occupants of Aso Villa?
Life has not been easy anymore. We are feeling the impulse of the entire nation. Every day for 18 hours, one has to attend to the needs of Nigerians. One squeezes our time to pray and eat.