By JUNIOR OTABONO
First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, has strongly warned those in the habit of collecting bribe from individuals before seeing the president or any member of his family to stop.
Mrs. Buhari reminded them that they should tread with caution because it took her husband 12 years before getting to the position he currently occupies.
The First Lady made this appeal during an “Appreciation Dinner” she hosted in honour of the All Progressives Congress’ women and youths at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She said, “There was nothing that people did not say about the past administration. It is not former President Goodluck Jonathan that is not good but the people around him.
“So, the people that are going to be around President Buhari have to be very careful because this election ended peacefully.
“We are praying and hoping that people around him should know that it took him 12 years to get to that position and they must know that they are coming to serve the masses, not General Buhari.
“It is the people that are around him that will determine the political health of our state.”
The President’s wife also promised that the current administration would run an open government.
She said government under her husband would be run differently from what was obtainable under Jonathan when people were allegedly asked to be paying huge amount of money in foreign currency before they could see the President or his wife.
“I will like to inform you that in the past regime, whether it is true or false, only God knows, some people were going round and parading themselves as personal assistants.
“If you wanted to see the President’s wife, you will pay $30,000 or $50,000 and if you are seeing the President, you will pay all that you have saved in your lifetime.
“This will not happen in our regime. Whoever asks you to give a single penny in the name of coming to see the President or his wife is not our (member of) staff. He is not an APC member, it is a lie. Don’t be deceived,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari said, “Many people did not know why I was not appearing for the last three campaigns. I appeared only this time and I think it made a lot of difference. A lot of people said my husband earned four million votes as a result of my campaign.
“We were not sure but with the popularity of my husband, we thought then that he needed female support to cancel all sorts of gender bias people have been attaching to him like that he kept me under a purdah.”
“He had never kept me under a purdah even for a moment since I got married to him…
“My husband is a gender-sensitive human being, having so many girls as his own biological children and then having me as a wife, then you can see the generation gap. He allowed me to go to school. To cut the story short, he is the pillar of my success.”