Aisha said: “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 staff. He is not an APC member, it is a lie. Don’t be deceived.”
“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 the all sorts of gender problems 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.
“Even now, by the recent campaigns, it was Bola Ahmed Tinubu who insisted that I should come out and support my husband. Not that I never like supporting my husband but it all depended on the people around him, that was before. And now too, it is the people around him that showed that they wanted me to participate, we did and we have seen the difference.
“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.
“When Bola Ahmed Tinubu saw me in Lagos, he said ‘Hajia, are you here for campaign?’ And I said ‘No, I am here to condole the former deputy governor, Mrs. Ajoke.’ He said ‘no, after that, you supposed to start the campaign. I said ‘ok, let the men start and then we follow.’
“Not long after, he started calling me if I could do it and I said ‘yes, why not?’
“I talked to my husband and he said he could not stop me from going for campaign if the people around him are comfortable with me going around to campaign for him.
“Here we are today celebrating the victory of our great party, celebrating the peaceful handover of power from one democratically elected President to another.
“When we started our campaign, we knew that it was not going to be easy for us but with the team work, it is a success story now.
“Along the line, we faced some challenges that are very rare. The major one is security. I could remember when I called the wife of Zamfara State governor and put the telephone on speaker with my husband beside me, she did not know this.
“She said they did not return to Gusau last night until about 4 A.M or so and along the way, they stopped them and said the PDP people were passing, so they must stop.
“She said she told them that it was not impossible, that when they were campaigning for 2011 elections, they were stopped for the incumbent to pass. And then now, as the sitting governor, we cannot stop for them to pass.
“She did not know that my husband was hearing her. My husband said ‘I agree with her, why will they ask her to stop?’
“When we went to Kwara, it was a big news all over that my convoy was attacked. Yes, my convoy was attacked, I was in the car with the governor’s wife.
“Immediately, I started hearing sound of people hitting our car I said ‘Madam, is this car bullet proof?’ Before she could answer, I was already touching the screen of the window. I learnt that it was not bullet proof and I said ‘Bisimillahi ramoni raheem.’
“In the morning, we were to leave Ilorin for Lagos to visit some dignitaries and have a dinner, we needed to leave Ilorin at about 10 AM. All of a sudden, they came and said we could not leave because the wife of the President was coming for a campaign and we would not be able to leave until when she comes and goes back.
“Later on, I thought the situation would be better. When the governor’s wife came, she said we had to wait until that woman comes and leaves. I said ‘no, we cannot do that. Who is your chief security officer? Call him for me. I am a wife of a former President of Nigeria. We can’t remain in Ilorin because we have many things to do in Lagos. We just have to leave.’
“I also asked ‘by the way, where is she? Is she at the airport now in Abuja so that we can wait?’ They said they did not know and I said since they did not know, they should open the way for us to allow us go. If it means jamming at the airport, let us go and jam.
“Surprisingly, when we got to the airport, there was nobody there. In fact, the PDP women lined up to see who Mrs. Buhari is.
“I want to thank all Nigerian women and youths for the crucial roles you played towards the success of the last election. I am very much aware of your steadfastness during the electioneering campaigns up till the elections proper.
“I wish to acknowledge your efforts which contributed significantly to our success story.
“An ocassion like this will naturally offer us an atmosphere to interact and reflect on how to play more supportive roles to our government at all levels for the benefit of our people.
“Remember we were voted by the people and so we are going to work for the people and government is of the people.
“In line with the philosophy of my husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, this administration is an open one and it is for all Nigerians as he said he belongs to every Nigerian and also belongs to nobody.
“We all know that our great country is facing some challenges in the areas of security, unemployment and corruption, among others.
“We cannot fold our hands or close our eyes to leave government alone to carry these heavy responsibilities.
“I sincerely believe that collectively and individually we can come up with practical solutions that will facilitate our answers to these ills affecting our society, especially women issues.
“The women of Nigeria are not asking for equal representation but rather a fair representation. As you are all aware, they were the major voters, we constitute more than 50 percent and in the end, we found out that the number of female legislators that we used to have declined. I do not think this is fair for women. We feel we are not represented.
“We should now make it as a mission in the next four years, to fight for fair representation of women in both leadership and decision-making bodies.
“Other problems like high rate of divorce in the North is a major setback for the Northern Nigeria. I think something has to be done. A guideline should be given on divorce.
“In the next four years, if you are divorced in the North, you can have what is called alimony. Whichever way our people may like to operate: whether based on religion or customarily, something has to be done on divorce in Northern Nigeria and the widowhood right in South.
“Because you have lost your husband, it will be like an end of the world for you. Something has to be done to it customarily or in the modern way.
“The women from the southern part of the country can’t continue living under suppression or oppression just because they are widows.
“Another major problem is the high rate of female student harassment in higher institutions. Something has to be done.
“I therefore want to use this medium to appeal to patriotic Nigerians to partner with this administration in the fight against all our collective problems.
“There was nothing that people did not say about the past administration. It is not Jonathan that is not good but the people around him.
“So, the people that are going to be around General 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 in person.
“It is the people that are around him that will determine the political health of our state.
“I simply cannot thank you enough for the love, contributions and sacrifices during this journey. Many have lost their lives and many found themselves in difficult situations, particularly victims of insurgency.
“It is with heavy heart that I recall their sufferings during this period. Yet, many of them were determined to cast their votes in anticipation of a change in their lives.
“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 PAs. If you wanted to see the First Lady, you will pay $30,000, $50,000 and if you are seeing the President, you will pay all that you have gathered in your lifetime.
“This will not happen in our regime. Whoever ask you to give a single penny in the name of coming to see the President or his wife is not our staff. He is not an APC member, it is a lie. Don’t be deceived.”