Nigerian billionaires snub Aisha Buhari’s book launch, Osinbajo, Tinubu attend (PHOTOS)


Many prominent Nigerian billionaires invited for a book launch by first lady Aisha Buhari on Thursday were conspicuously absent.

The billionaires were not only expected to grace the book launch, but they were also pencilled down as presenters at the event.

The launch of the biography titled, ‘Aisha Buhari: Being different’, held at the Banquet Hall, presidential villa, Abuja.

The book launch took place in the absence of Aisha's husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently on medical vacation in the UK.

The likes of Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Arthur Eze, Femi Otedola, Muhammadu Indimi, Jim Ovia, Kessington Adebutu, and Idahosa Wells Okunbo, who were invited for the event, were a no-show.

Folorunsho Alakija, Nigeria's richest woman, was listed as the special guest of honour, but she was also absent.

Bola Shagaya was the only notable billionaire in attendance.

Rather than completely snub the event, the absent billionaires opted to send representatives to attend in their stead.

While the business icons failed to turn up, politicians like Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo were in attendance.

Tinubu, who was the chairman of the occasion, described Aisha Buhari as a “voice of conscience” who has played a unifying role in the country.

He said: “Given the First Lady’s achievements, no one can reasonably question the role of a First Lady any longer. Remember there were those who argued that the constitution does not assign an official role to the First Lady. Because of Dr. Mrs. Aisha Buhari, their concerns have been forever laid to rest.

“Mrs. Buhari shows that a First Lady should not stand aloof and detached from what is happening in the country. Mrs. Buhari never shies from what she believes in. This makes her a reliable and true advisor to her beloved husband. No doubt that Mr. President’s administration has been enriched because of her active role and the teamwork that exists between husband and wife.”

Osinbajo said Aisha connects with Nigerians like no other first lady in the history of the country.

The vice-president said Aisha became the first holder of the office of first lady to join social media for an undiluted access to views of the larger population.

He also noted that the first lady never shies away from the truth, even when it’s controversial.

“It’s unlikely that any first lady in Nigeria’s history has, in such a few short years, captured the imagination of Nigerians as profoundly as Aisha Buhari,” Osinbajo said.

“She is, of course, the first first lady to be on Twitter, on Instagram, and other social media platforms, getting her unfiltered views across to the Nigerian people and she’s probably the first to receive, in real time, the opinions of Nigerians on her views.

“With her views, forthright, crisp, truthful, and once in a while controversial, she has established an ongoing conversation with the Nigerian people — the issues that concern them most, the issues that concern us the most, good governance, security, putting food on the table, the education of our children, prompt payment of pensions to army veterans, drug abuse, the violation and victimisation of women.”

He also noted that “every once in a while she airs her own personal struggles — her annoyance — in a manner probably unprecedented in the role of the first lady anywhere”.

Other personalities in attendance include Ovie Omo-Agege, depute senate president; Patience Jonathan, the former first lady; Sa’ad Abubakar II, the Sultan of Sokoto; and Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife.

Amina Sambo, wife of former vice-president; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti state governor; Simon Lalong, Plateau state governor; Mai Mala Buni, Yobe governor, among others, were also present at the book launch.

See some photos from the event.


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