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Power Tussle, Gunshots in the Villa

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According to news reports, a security breach occurred in the State House on Thursday, June 10, 2020 following an altercation between First Lady, Aisha Buhari and President Buhari’s Special Adviser and nephew, Sabiu Yusuf. Mrs. Buhari’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Usman Shugaba was said to have fired gunshots in an attempt to apprehend Yusuf, as the argument between Yusuf and the First Lady degenerated. Mrs. Buhari had insisted that he should self-isolate for the stipulated 14 days following his recent visit to Lagos State, for fear of COVID-19 infection. Yusuf refused to heed the  instruction on the ground that he was not the only associate of the President who had travelled and returned without going into isolation,  and wondered why a different treatment was being meted out to him. The new Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari and the President’s children are reported to have travelled to several parts of the country, without being subjected to self-isolation upon their return.

Following the shooting incident, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu ordered the arrest of the First Lady’s ADC, Usman Shugaba and other security personnel that accompanied her to Yusuf’s residence, for the security breach in the Presidential Villa occasioned by the gunshots fired. Aisha Buhari through her social media handle, called on IGP Adamu to release her security aides from detention. She made this demand after reiterating that anyone who contravenes regulations made pursuant to the Quarantine Act and the COVID-19 guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), particularly the interstate  travel ban should be made to undergo 14 days isolation mandatorily, regardless of who they are.

It would seem that following the death of former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who was virtually in control of the Presidency and affairs of State, the First Lady has been making attempts to take a hold of affairs within the Presidency and take away the reins of power form the “cabal” said to be controlling the affairs of the Buhari Presidency. For lots of Nigerians, the squabble, infighting and show of shame in the Presidential villa is a painful one. The intrigues in the Presidential villa appear to be a struggle for power, privilege and position among self serving Buhari acolytes and family members bent on feasting and fiddling while Nigeria burns.