Aisha Buhari says lavish VIP treatment by Nigeria High Commission ‘simple protocol’ for her status

aisha-buhari-pic

Lavish receptions organised by the Nigerian High Commission for the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, and her entourage, during her visits to the UK, were nothing more than “simple protocol” for a personality of her status, her spokesperson has said.

Mrs. Buhari initially denied abusing privileges offered by the commission in London as reported by Sahara Reporters.

She adjusted her statement after the newspaper presented evidence indicating the budgeting of several thousands of pounds for her trips to the UK.

After the first story reported that the High Commission spent up to £7,000 and provided other privileges each time Mrs. Buhari travelled to the UK, the first lady denied abusing any privilege and described the report as false.

“Mrs. Buhari had never travelled with a large entourage to London as reported by the Sahara Reporters,” her spokesperson, Adebisi Olumide-Ajayi, said in a statement.

“It is on record that the Nigerian High Commission in London did not receive Aisha Buhari at the Airport with any official distinction or privilege as it was accorded other first ladies before her.

“She never complained or raised dust about any of these act by the High Commission because of the understanding as clearly spelt out and practiced by her husband that public office must be separated from the private lives of the occupants. Even her drivers are privately arranged without any recourse to embassy for staff,” the statement added.

A follow-up report by Sahara Reporters on Saturday showed budgets for lavish reception by the High Commission for at least two visits.

One document showed that in July 2016, Mrs. Buhari traveled to the UK with nine people in her delegation. The commission spent at least £15,000 for the trip, covering bookings at Windsor Suites at Heathrow Airport.

In October 2016, Mrs. Buhari visited London again. During this trip, the High Commission budgeted £10,000 for expenses that included VIP reception on her rival at the airport. The High Commission paid £1,500 per passenger for VIP treatment at Windsor Suites. At least 10 women including the wives of several state governors accompanied Mrs. Buhari on the trip.

In her second statement issued on Saturday, Mrs. Buhari said she was not in “direct contact” with the High Commission, and was not involved in the business of providing for those privileges.

Describing, the evidence presented by Sahara Reporters as a “conjecture of a purported internal memo”, the first lady said did not demand the privileges.

Mrs. Buhari added that the said VIP treatment was “simple protocol for a personality of her status”, saying it was the practice all over the world.

Below is the statement in full:

“The continuous publication of unfounded stories by Sahara Reporters against the Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, is becoming a great concern. After our last rejoinder, we expected the paper to come out with concrete evidence of deliberate fraud or abuse of privileges, or be bold enough to own up and apologise for such hazy and unsubstantiated report.

“Alas! What Sahara Reporters came up with was another conjecture of a purported internal memo within the consulate, which has no direct link to Her Excellency. The new accusation, however, has still not been able to substantiate where Aisha Buhari made any direct contact with the mission for anything. The High Commission has its internal administrative procedure, and it’s not within the purview of the wife of the president to ask for diplomatic files.

“Furthermore, that the said memo showed little or no knowledge of Her Excellency’s itinerary proves the simple fact we earlier submitted that she had no direct business with the embassy to warrant the accusation of waste or corruption insinuated in the report. Part of the wife of the president’s trips abroad are for her NGO, which is not funded by the government, and It is not uncommon to have stop over in Britain like any other country as the case may be.

“According her VIP treatment is simple protocol for a personality of her status, which is done all over the world, and at no point was she offered anywhere else. The High Commission provided the lounge and Hajiya Buhari was not involved in the transaction. This is even a far cry from the £32,000 expended in the past as landing fees for private jets of former first ladies.

“Attending an international women function with the Governors’ wives couldn’t have been linked to the bogus allegation of corruption made by Sahara Reporters’ spurious headline earlier on, as these are approved trips. It will be to the credit of Sahara Reporters to carry out a thorough check if the so called monies (£3,500) spent for whatever reason by the High Commission has any direct link with Hajia Aisha Buhari. That is responsible journalism.”


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  • Amingos

    …but becos Nigeria is not a country no one will hit the streets in protest and demand that she not only keeps her mouth shut and apologise to Nigerians for lying BUT refund the money. That money belongs to the poor cleaner or Janitor or driver somewhere who is paying his tax to the Nigerian govt. Vagabonds in Power. Fela was right after all. Status ke! Hair dresser with OND? Status?

    • Julius

      Would you also write to mama piss to refund what she spent on those lavish oversea travels she made during the period she was the 1st lady ? Did you protest on behalf of the poor people of the country then ? That money also belongs to the poor cleaner or Janitor or driver somewhere who paid his /her tax to the Nigerian govt.

      • sab

        Remember you shouted ‘CHANGE’, promised ‘CHANGE’ but now you are rewinding the hand of the clock. What does it signify ? It simply means ‘do as I say, not do as I do’ which is hypocrisy personified! When the former First Lady did it, didn’t you complain? Was that not reason you called for change, fought for change because you knew it was wrong. Now, something you knew was wrong few years ago, is what you are doing now and expect people to accept it is right simply because the former first lady did it. Where then is the justification in your call for change?

        • Julius

          If you haven’t seen some changes, I can’t help you. Honestly, you will never see any because it will not fit your narratives ..I can point to the sharing of arms procurement funds that has stopped being shared and our service men and women are now being equipped with better arms but, I guess to you, that’s not change…I could go on but, it will be a waste of my time.

          • Senator D

            No we haven’t seen changes all we see are lies, hypocrisy and barefaced lying… We just siddon dey look (OBJ pardon me here)

          • Julius

            Blind people can’t see.. but, the morally blind people don’t even wanna see anything. I think you might be one of those. The See no evil, hear no evil but evil themselves crowd. I can’t help ya !!

          • Alpha

            I hate responding to obvious mischiefs intended posts, but it will seem you’re right if left unchallenged. Seem to you the so called arms money sharing stoppage is such gargantuan accomplishment. Would serve your purpose better to intimate us of current trends in economy, polity and benefits Nigerians are deriving from them in comparison to the period ante.

            Leave those tawandaincommunicado antics that will not help your principal.

          • Mufu Ola

            The arms money sharing is a major accomplishment.Had it not been ambushed the bazaar would have continued and ther is no way it would not have affected our forex & d economy at large.Things would have been far worse.

          • Julius

            “Seem to you the so called arms money sharing stoppage is such gargantuan accomplishment “. $2 billion plus is nothing ? Stopping thieves from stealing that much money is not an accomplishment to you ? Are serious ? Jesus, people like you are the lots killing this country. I don’t know what to say to you anymore sir. Be well !!

      • mayGodpunishopressors

        Julius, what you do not seem to understand was that Buhari/APC came to the scene with of being “clean, un-corruptible, transparent and above board”. Its now clear to the world buhari and his family are filthy, hypocrites. Buhari refused to pupblically declare his assets, but Yar Adua did.

        • Julius

          Did Jonathan declared his assets ? Please, remind me. By the way, I’m still trying to understand the fraud in this saga about the president’s wife travelling and the cost. Can you tell me that also ?

          • Senator D

            Are you justifying impunity under Bubu? You make me laugh with your rhetoric here… I hope you won’t make a total mess of the mess you are intending to clean-up?

          • Julius

            I asked a question and if you don’t have an answer , just say that you don’t instead of trying to be smart by half. Of course I’m not trying to justify impunity but , I think asking for the evidence ain’t too much to ask. Is it ?

          • Mufu Ola

            The problem of you & your gang is that you’re already in the gutter & eagerly seeking others to join you there.Julius is asking you how her trips amount to corruption.There’s no where it was proved she sought any special or extraordinary favor from the embassy even if out of courtesy the embassy decides to prepare for her.

          • Julius

            Thank you sir .Maybe my language is too complicated for him .

  • chinedu

    E tu Aisha?

  • Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan

    What kind of thrash is this? and she has the effrontery to say she has status? Of what economic importance was that trip? And by the way, where is the so called Professor Mumuwole? Is Aisha not a mere appendage of power? A Donkey or Kangaroo of the dry desert just like the Hippopotamus of the swamps? Yeye fowl. I will now tear my Yellow card.

  • Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan

    What kind of INJUSTICE is this? What kind of insult is this? and she has the effrontery to say she has status? Of what economic importance was that trip? And by the way, where is the so called Professor Mumuwole? Is Aisha not a mere appendage of power? A Donkey or Kangaroo of the dry desert just like the Hippopotamus of the swamps? Yeye fowl. I will now tear my Yellow card

  • OLATUNDE

    A very bad habit among Nigerian people is abuse of opportunity. Nigerian journalists especially, will eventually abuse the so-called freedom of speech. It is good to expose corrupt public office holders but not to the extent of allowing your pen to be used by some politicians that are greedy, selfish and highly corrupt. If you have good evidence against Aisha Bukhari, must you first disgrace her publicly before you start the investigation, send your petition to EFCC and wait for response. I have the feelings that “corruption fighting back” tendencies is seriously affecting our journalists. They are not well paid and no other good means of getting money, many of them have mixed with politicians who care little about life after death. To make it clear to you guys, many of us outside the country are following the trend of events in Nigeria. A good example is Obafemi Awolowo University that was headed for many years by the so-called Tale Omole. The university community rejected him and his cohorts and even rejected any successor of him that emanates from his camp. The university could not witness peace until the selection of an acting vice chancellor. However, few weeks ago some people wrote petition to EFCC about the acting vice chancellor mismanaging the university money. But individual Nigerian should be very conscious of his moral. Few of us contacted OAU to know the personality of the man. We realized it is the same tendency of “corruption fighting back”.
    There are evil doers that doesn’t want evil to stop, few ASUU member wrote a voluminous petition like that against the JAMB REGISTRAR, few of us took time to know about the personality of the man, we were surprised. God will make Nigeria great.

  • Sarah

    At first it was denial, now it is “…simple protocol…”.
    The story is changing as documents are being released

  • AryLoyds

    Thank God , if it was GEJ and his BOO BOO , these same animals would
    have said crucify them ! Fulani Blood is Blue 🙂 Deris God OH :).

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  • Senator D

    Put water for pot, and bring pot put water inside nah the same. Abeg make them go siddon with their lies. Fighting Corruption kor, fighting corruption nii. All Nigerian Politicians (be they APC or PDP) are corrupt!

  • thusspokez

    At least 10 women including the wives of several state governors accompanied Mrs. Buhari on the trip.

    Obviously, these were beauty treatments and shopping trips — all at the Nigerian tax payers’ expense.

    Aisha aside, paying for thieving state governors’ accomplices or wives to go on beauty treatments and shopping trips is like pouring salt into an open wound.

  • don Januzaj

    She’s right about her status.
    She is not a First Lady…she is ‘The Wife of The President’.

    KEEP FOOLING THE F@@LS!!!!
    After all, some are here defending her with their lives.
    Lol!!

  • shegxy

    If that Story is about madame jumbo her supporters or her husband supporters would have started crying and protesting that Sahara reporter is working for the APC now it’s against the ruling party we are not hearing any thing o

  • Man_Enough

    The wife of the president does not approve expenditures, neither does she arrange the protocols. I doubt if she is aware of the details of the expenses. If there is any fraud, it must have been committed by those who plan and execute these things. SR should enlighten us if the first lady and her entourage are not entitled to a reception.

  • obiora

    Corruption is Fighting back. Even AISHA is among the Wailers.

  • callistus u owuamanam

    Is she not the same person who swore that she can never go by the title ‘First Lady, not use first ladies’ offices, not receive gifts in any form from anyone, not receive money gift from anyone? The issue is not the money spent, small or big, why prentending to be different from those before? Anything that starts with lies deceits and hypocrisy will likely end with lies. We have seen more than we did not imagine from this couple. TUFIAKWA, AZI GBA.

  • OLATUNDE

    I am very happy with various responses on this issue. If what sahara reporter wrote about Mama Aisa is true then it will serve as acid test for the fight against corruption. I know Bukhari as a leader, he will do what some righteous and sincere leaders have done in the past and are still doing at present. The son of the Great leader Umar committed fornication he was flogged openly, son of a governor treated a Christian unjustly he was beated openly and even his father was nearly flogged based on the instruction of the President of that time. Aisha should understand that she is sitting on a very hot sit and is under the watch of many eyes. The King of Saudi Arabia signed the death warrant of his own son few months ago and even participated in his burial after public execution for criminal offence that was guilty of. Nigerians will now realize that the entire nation can be sanitized if we are ready.