President Muhammadu Buhari – Hero or Villain?

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Just a few days after the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the hornet’s nest is being stirred. For about two days now, the social media has been awash with the news of Nigeria’s first lady’s wristwatch as seen in a portrait shot by and shown on photographer George Okoro’s Instagram wall. The news has gained further spread as BBC and The Independent both carried it.

The wristwatch which is said to be a Cartier Baignoire Folle 18-carat white gold diamond timepiece is estimated to be worth about $50,000, making it about N10 million (naira). Reports so far indicate that there are also copies of this time piece which are sold for less than $100. The idea being that the first lady could be wearing an imitation also known as a copy.

Aisha Buhari and Watch

Why should what the Nigerian first lady’s wristwatch cost be an issue that is raising so much furor? Those who are bringing up this issue now are doing so based on the personality that was presented and sold during the campaigns. President Buhari presented himself as one with the common man. He claimed that he had no money and that he actually had to borrow some money to purchase his nomination form.

The strong point of his campaign was his fight against corruption. He claimed severally not to have enriched himself during his previous stints in governance. He maintained throughout the campaign process that he was not rich. The question being asked by many now is – if you are not rich, how can your wife afford a N10 million wristwatch?

Nigerians are divided on this with many saying it shows he was simply telling lies during his campaigns and others coming strongly to his support saying that it could be a gift from their supporters or friends. In response to this line of defense, other are saying that if it is a gift, then his promise to fight corruption is already being compromised since gifts to public office holders are usually “Greek Gifts.”

As the arguments continue, more allegations seem to be emerging from the woodwork. One of the most recent is an allegation that he (President Buhari) owns a mansion worth about N2.1 billion in Asokoro Abuja, Nigeria. In reporting this news, Breaking Times claims they can authoritatively report that the mansion is located at 9, Udo Udoma Street, Asokoro, Abuja.

Are all these an attempt at rubbishing the integrity and image of the new President? As if this was not enough, a tweet went viral yesterday. The tweet by one Shalom Miriam Shehu claimed that she and other shoppers at a boutique in Abuja Lagos were asked to leave the boutique by security agents attached to one of President Buhari’s daughters. (tweet page shown below)

Tweet about Buharis daughter

These are all no more than mere allegations. However, if there is one thing that is clear from all these information (true or false) emerging daily, it is that Nigerians expect President Buhari to be as squeaky clean as he claimed and still does claim. He is now the President so he no longer has a private life. His family will constantly be under scrutiny. Any actions by them that are not in sink with the ideals he professes to live by will be frowned upon by Nigerians.

The President has massive support and also a massive number of Nigerians who are strongly opposed to him. If these stories are mere attempts at distracting him, he must learn to look beyond them and do what he has promised. Nigerians certainly want a positive change in their nation and they will settle for nothing less. It is left to be seen if the APC led government is indeed the change that every Nigerian craves.

Sources:

BBC Trending –  Nigerians upset over first lady’s flashy watch
The Independent – Nigerian First Lady’s expensive-looking ‘$50,000 Cartier’ watch draws ridicule
Breaking Times – EXPOSED | President Buhari’s N2.1 Billion Asokoro Mansion

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