Aisha Buhari’s Heart of Gold

Aisha Buhari’s Heart of Gold
March 07 08:02 2017

By LANRE SOLOMON

Sometimes in February 2017, soul-stirring news emerged. In the heat of elaborate preparations being made by family and friends to celebrate her birthday, wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari applied the brakes. She had decided, she announced, not to organize any birthday bash. Instead, the occasion would be marked in a solemn, dignified way. Specifically, the day would be reserved for a humanitarian cause; for the less privileged.

The announcement caught not a few people on the wrong foot. Rarely has such a move been made by a siting First Lady before. At the very least, the typical First Lady would celebrate her big day with aplomb than do something for the less privileged. In contrast to that trend, Aisha Buhari focused on humanitarian endeavor rather than on her personal interest.

Granted, that decision might have been partly informed by the need to maintain a low profile at a time when her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, was still grappling with some issues. Even then, those who have tracked Aisha’s endeavors prior to her husband’s emergence as President, and since May 29, 2015, must have seen that for this amiable woman, charity is a passion and a way of life. A way of giving back to the society in her own modest way.

 Flash-back to this time last year, for example. As the mighty and low alike gathered in the federal capital city, Abuja, for the launch of her book on beauty therapy, nothing indicated that Aisha would not let that day pass without touching hearts in her peculiar manner. That, however, was exactly what she did. To the pleasant surprise of all and sundry, the wife of the President declared that part of the money to be gleaned from the event would be donated to parents of the Chibok school girls who were kidnapped by the terrorists group, Boko Haram, over two years ago.

Then there is the ultra-modern orphanage and school she is constructing in Borno State. Rather than locate these life-changing projects either in the nation’s capital city or in her home state, she took them all the way to the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. The reason? Deeply touched by the plight of long-suffering Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and their children, the wife of the President decided to cast her lot with them by sponsoring the two projects. The school and the orphanage are not only ultra modern but are designed to give under-privileged kids quality life on the one hand and world class education on the other.

In the same vein, the wife of the President has been garnering universal accolades in recent times on account of her trail-blazing pet project called Future Assured which is dedicated to helping women and children in sundry ways. In fact, over the years, Future Assured has been in the forefront of issues such as infant and maternal mortality, girl-child education, women empowerment, domestic violence, child trafficking and so. The mission and goal of this innovative non-governmental organization includes giving women and children, particularly the female gender, a sense of belonging and training/empowering them in such a way that their future would be truly assured for the good of our homes in particular and the society in general

Asked why she is so passionate about the well-being of Nigerian women and the younger generation, the wife of the President explained that over the decade, she had come to face-to-face with the devastating effects of issues such as grinding penury, illiteracy, ignorance and social injustice, hence her resolve to use whatever resources at her disposal to touch as many lives as she can. For the wife of the President, considering the status of her family and the privilege of who they are and where they are, the least she could do as a way of giving back is to pursue her pet project in a single-minded, tireless and revolutionary way.

Truly so! Particularly since her husband mounted the saddle nearly two years ago, Aisha Buhari has been the epitome of selfless, doggedness and commitment to the common cause. What stands her apart from virtually all her predecessors is the humility and grace that characterise her efforts. Unlike the typical First Lady who moves around with all the paraphernalia of her position, the wife of the has been operating with her personal resources, making no demands of the nation’s resources. She even travels around the country and beyond on her own rather than using presidential planes.

A character in one of William Shakespeare’s plays famously said that he came, he saw and he conquered. Aisha Buhari on her part, may not have consummated her “conquest” yet – hers is still a work-in-progress, but if the evidences on the ground so far are anything to go by, not even her traducers would dare to deny the fact that she came, she saw, and she is transforming lives in her inimitable, impactful and future-assured ways.