The Presidency has reacted to Governor Ayodele Fayose’s corruption allegation against Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari on Monday, June 20th, linking her to US Congressman William Jefferson’s bribery scandal for which the American lawmaker was convicted in 2009.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a press statement issued on Tuesday, explained that the presidency would have ordinarily ignored Fayose because he was a man “childishly obsessed with the desire to grab the headlines and insulting people at will because of his incurably boorish instincts”, but the decision to “respond was for the sake of innocent Nigerians who might be misled by Mr. Fayose’s shameless and blatant distortion of facts”.
He further stated that ignoring the governor would mean giving credibility to his outright and brazen falsehoods inconsistent with the status of anybody that calls himself a Governor or leader, adding that Mrs Aisha Buhari had no direct, indirect or the remotest connection with William Jefferson’s corruption scandal in the United States.
Mr. Shehu challenged Fayose to tell Nigerians if the so-called Aisha whose pictures he boldly, but ignorantly shared, was the same Aisha married to President Buhari.
He also called Fayose to produce proofs from the records of investigation and subsequent trial of the US lawmaker to justify that the president’s wife was in anyway connected to that scandal.
He explained that common names alone were not enough to automatically link innocent people to crimes or scandals, especially in an era of identity thieves.
The presidential media aide made it clear to Governor Fayose that freedom of speech is not an entitlement to falsely accuse innocent people of crimes they have no hand in.
Similarly, the first lady herself did not spare Fayose as she gave him a piece of her mind on the issue. She took to her Twitter account to rain invective on the governor, calling him a mad dog. Mrs Aisha’s tweets caused a lot of storm but was later deleted.