By Lawan Bukar Maigana
Truth be told, Aminu Adamu’s post is not libellous if we look at it from a legal perspective because it is true that all leaders (including their families) feed on the sweat of the masses. And that is not a crime because the nature of their offices gives them the privilege.
A political officeholder must feed just like every other person. The only difference is that the poor don’t have a budget for food, unlike those leading us. So, it is proper for a poor man to say that he feeds his leader, although not directly.
Recently, N7.20 billion was earmarked for the maintenance of Villa facilities out of its N21.137 billion total budgetary proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, and it planned to spend N1. 96 billion for the purchase of vehicles (all in the money paid in tax by the masses.)
The details of the 2023 budget show that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, planned to spend the sum of N3.57 billion on feeding and travelling expenses. N2. 6 billion of the vast amount was for the President’s office, while N77. Eight million was for the office of Osinbajo. Is it a lie that leaders feed on the money of the poor?
I believe these and others are the figures Aminu saw, which provoked the tweet that landed him in trouble. But the seemingly intolerant Aisha Buhari saw it and deemed it hurtful. Many see her decision to order the arrest, torture, and arraignment of Adamu, a final-year student of the Federal University, Dutse, as unconscionable because it has caused incalculable damage to her reputation. Everyone has been insulting her due to what many see as her overreaction.
Her decision has further angered thousands of young Nigerians who are already angry with her husband’s administration which consequently metamorphosed into insults that were way more grievous than Aminu’s post.
Nigerian youths have enough reasons to be angry with Aisha’s husband. There is much hunger in the land. Security and the economy are not in good shape. To make matters worse, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government have, in the last year, conspired to frustrate the lives and future of undergraduates.
Mrs Buhari got the context all wrong. Aminu may be right after all.
After all, it is true that they feed on the country’s resources which can easily be translated into “masses money.” She took his post personally because she is a professional beautician, and it is embarrassing for her to gain weight because weight hides beauty (according to some ladies).
Generally, women don’t like body shaming. They take offence when told they are getting fatter because they fear that they may become unattractive to their husbands or men in general. Perhaps, that was why she overreacted. Again, her size increase may not have been due to any enjoyment but to an undisclosed illness, which will naturally make the tweet pain her even more. But she should have ignored him as a mother and fighter for women’s rights and youth inclusion.
I have never justified immorality on social media platforms. Still, the overbearing action taken against him by the Mother of the Nation is unjustifiable and condemnable, even though he hurt her feelings.
The Aisha Buhari-Aminu Adamu situation is a lesson for all and sundry. We can say many things that we believe have no legal implications but can still get us in trouble. Therefore, we need to caution ourselves.
Lawan Bukar Maigana writes from Abuja and can be reached via email@example.com.