Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State is one of the most successful Nigerian politicians of all time. It is not everyday you find a politician that defeats 2 incumbent governors by a landslide accross the span of several years of political inactivity. That is a sign that Fayose is indeed one of the political warriors of our time.
To add to this, he has turned himself into one of the pillars of Nigeria’s opposition, speaking the truth to power courageously. He is also a politican of conviction, which can be seen in the way he has fearlessly tackled the herdsmen farmer crises in Ekiti State, outlawing free grazing and providing ranchlands for herdsmen in Ekiti State.
But one battle he is sure to always loose is the battle of challenging First Lady Aisha Buhari to visit the US and show irrefutable proof that she really did. This is a proxy strategy he is using in an attempt to discredit his political opponents the ruling APC. And while at the brginning he succeeded in getting sympathy by riling Mrs Buhari and getting her to loose her cool and use strong language against him, he can’t win in that battle in the long run, because international politics is not on his side on that issue, even assuming for a moment that First Lady Aisha Buhari is guilty of taking bribe in the Halliburton saga, as he has alleged.
Guilty or Not Mrs Buhari will always be able to visit the US any time she likes. I say this for 2 reasons. (I am not for one moment insinuating that Mrs Buhari is guilty of the crimes Mr Fayose has accused her of. In fact; I believe that the Buhari family is currently Nigeria’s First Family for a divine purpose- that they are not tnere by accident.
So assuming (but not admitting) that Aisha Buhari was guilty and she wanted to visit the US despite whatever arrest warrants may be waiting for her there, she can in two ways.
1. By Getting The President Of The United States To Sign A Secret Pardon For Her, in exchange for bilateral deals favourable to the US. Yes that is not illegal. The President of the United States is empowered by the US Constitution to grant state pardons to whomever he pleases. What’s more, in practice the president doesn’t have to make such a pardon public. In fact, I read in a very informative novel about a US President granting someone blanket pardon for any crimes he may commit in future (Lol). So if Mrs Buhari has gotten such pardon from the US, there would be no way for Fayose to know, and the result would be that he would put himslef in deep embarassment by attacking Mrs Buhari with that line and possiblly emesh himself in difficult legal entanglements. Fayose should steer clear here.
2. Mrs Buhari Can Attend UN Events Even In New York: Go ask Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Ever since he siezed lands belonging to the Whites in Zimbabwe and gave it to the Black majority whom he says are the original owners, countries like the US and UK have banned him from visiting their countries whether in a personal or in an official capacity, but he was in New York last week for the UN General Assembly and the US police, rather than arrest him, protected him. Why?
Because bans by the US on foreign leaders visiting their countries do not apply when the leader is in the US for a major UN event. So you see why, assuming she was guilty, it would still have been impossible for Mrs Buhari to be arrested in the US during her recent visit to the US to attend several UN events. You say the office of First Lady is not an offical position? I ask, what stops President Buhari from granting Aisha -a very articulate woman- an ambassadorial status during the visit? Nothing. And is he obliged to announce the secret appointment to you? No.
And what has been Fayose’s responce to visits by Mrs Buhari to the US? His officials have tried to raise doubts that the visits really happened, by insinuating that she went instead to another country that has a simmilar airport to a US airport. They have also sugested that photos of the First Lady meeting Michelle Obama may have been photoshopped. All the while, the credibility of Fayose has taken a hit.
So, my advice to Fayose is for him to stop attacking the woman in this regard because he cannot win. He will instead raise questions about his integrity, whether he is right or not. My ideal situation would be for both Fayose and Mrs Buhari, two public figures I admire greatly to bury the hatchet. But given the nature of politics, I doubt if that is possible in the immediate future. So I am forced to settle for asking Fayose to let sleeping dogs lie on this issue, and to ask Mrs Buhari to please forgive him if he has in any way wronged her. They both have very crucial roles to play in Nigeria’s quest for security and stability.