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Osinbajo, Tinubu extol Aisha Buhari at book launch

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday eulogised the First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, for her noble role in national politics.

The Vice-President described her as an unusual personality whose spontaneity has redefined the role of her office.

Osinbajo spoke yesterday at the presentation of a book, titled: Aisha Buhari: Being Different, written by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs, Office of the First Lady, Dr. Hajo Sani, at the State House Banquet Hall in Abuja.

The Vice-President noted that Mrs. Buhari had regaled the Nigerian public with many firsts, including opening her office through social media outlets and connecting with the public in real-time.

“Dr. Hajo Sani has written a most engaging book on an incredibly fascinating person, Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s First Lady. It’s unlikely that any other First Lady in Nigeria’s history has, in such a few years, captured the imagination of Nigerians as profoundly as Aisha Buhari.

“She’s, of course, the first First Lady to be on Twitter, on Instagram, and other social media platforms, getting her unfiltered views across to the Nigerian people, and she’s probably the first to receive, in real time, the opinions of Nigerians on her views.

“With her views, forthright, crisp, truthful and once in a while controversial, she has established an ongoing conversation with the Nigerian people. The issues that concern them most, the issues that concern us the most: good governance, security, putting food on the table, the education of our children, prompt payment of pensions to Army veterans, drug abuse, the violation and victimisation of women.

“Once in a while, she airs her own personal struggles, her annoyance, in a manner probably unprecedented in the role of the First Lady anywhere.

“There is no question that Aisha Buhari is different. Her difference has been empowering for the Nigerian people and there is never any question that her comments come from a good place, a place of genuine love and respect for the Nigerian people and our several concerns.”

Asiwaju Tinubu described Mrs. Buhari as a voice of conscience who has appealed to all in the political space to give better services to the nation.

He noted that the President’s wife has played both uplifting and unifying roles across the country.

The former Lagos State governor, who was chairman at the book presentation, recalled the First Lady’s contributions to the 2015 presidential campaigns, which culminated in the then candidate Buhari’s eventual victory and the current functioning of the Presidency.

“The First Lady has played an uplifting, unifying role, both in symbol and substance. She has been a voice of conscience, calling us to be our better selves for the good of the nation and for the betterment of the weakest, the most vulnerable among us.

“As such, she has been a strong pillar of support, not only to the President but also to the Nigerian people whom they both serve with such patriotic commitment and high purpose,” Asiwaju Tinubu said.

The APC stalwart appraised the role of Mrs. Buhari in the national political space, giving a verdict that she has done well.

“The role of the First Lady is instrumental to our society and to how a great number of our people relate to government. Custom and tradition may call to her in a certain way. Yet, the issues of the day may call to her in another.

“First Lady Aisha Buhari has done a masterful job, melding the calls of tradition and the imperatives of today into a creative, benevolent role that has enriched society and the art of governance.

“Many political thinkers argue that the state or country is nothing but a social extension or evolution of the family. As such, if the President is the father of the national family, his spouse becomes the mother of that family.

“This is why (the late) Chief Obafemi Awolowo once praised the then First Lady, Mrs. Victoria Gowon, by saying: ‘The hands that rock the cradle, so goes the wise saying, rule the nation.’”

Dignitaries at the event included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, who delivered the welcome remarks.

Others included Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege; Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (recorded message); Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Dr. Amina Muhammed (recorded message).

Wife of the Vice-President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo; former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan; former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe; the Ooni of Ife, Imperial Majesty Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar III; wife of former Vice-President, Amina Sambo, among others, also attended the event.

A list of the donors included Asiwaju Tinubu (N20 million), Alhaji Aliko Dangote (N30m), Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu (N25m), Mrs. Folorunso Alakija (N10m), and Chief Kessington Adebutu (N10m).

THE NATION

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