We first met during the 2015 campaign, she had come to Lagos to campaign for her husband, then General Muhammadu Buhari rtd, and I was detailed by my then bosses Gbolahan Olalemi, Tunde Osho and Jide Otitoju to interview her.
The interview was to take place at Asiwaju Tinubu’s house where she was visiting, but somewhere along the line, I could not get to her and had to follow them to Oriental Hotel.
That particular night, she was tired, but graciously asked me, through her now SSA Dr Hajo Sani to come back the following morning.
It was the chance of a lifetime and I spent all night thinking of the questions I would ask her, Would she be willing to open up, would she talk about her children, I played around with a lot of questions in my mind and decided I would basically go with the flow.
The time for the interview came and we had a wonderful time. She is an interviewer’s delight anytime as she doesn’t hold back, it was more like we were friends gisting than an interview.
I later became one of her media aides and the rest they say is history.
The Aisha Buhari I know is passionate about everything she lays her hands on, be it her children, her husband, child mortality, IDPs….. you name it. She goes into it with such ferocity you better believe will tear down every obstacle to make sure projects she sets her hands on are followed through to the letter.
The First Lady’s first passion was to make sure her husband succeeds. She saw through all those pretending to like Mr President and those who genuinely wanted him to succeed, so she did what no other first lady has ever done, she took on the establishment, this is what in our inner circles came to be known as the audacity of Aisha.
She dared, as a Northern Muslim woman to speak out. She remembered the promises made during the campaign and the part she had played along with the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, to draw the women folk out in masse to vote APC. The failure of her husband, she must have thought, was not going to be her legacy.
She spoke out and the heavens fell. Was she deterred? NO. Was she cowed? No. She trod on, even when she was the lone voice. That, is the audacity of Aisha Buhari.
A people’s person against all odds, as a mother, her children come first. I have watched her with her children, each one has a special place in her heart, she would protect them with her life.
One of the most beautiful things about her is, if she has your back, she has your back. She will walk miles to protect you, she never leaves her own alone, no matter the cost, be it her child or a staff, if she is for you, she is for you.
As Aisha Buhari turns 50 today, She is walking her walk, whether alone, or with people on her side. She is making a difference! Ask the thousands of IDPs who she has sent relief materials to, ask the children whose medical bills she has paid, or the school children whose tutorials and WAEC fees she has paid, speak to the communities where she has dug boreholes, how many do I need to mention.
Her NGO, Future Assured has brought succour to many causes, what with her war against maternal mortality, malnutrition, and her mobile clinics for health outreaches and her empowerment training for women. She is the face of Tuberculosis and many other causes that benefit humanity.
Lack of Space will not allow me to speak of all the things done.
Your Excellency as you turn 50 today, I wish you a wonderful birthday. May the fire and passion in you never die.
Adebisi Olumide-Ajayi is a Media Aide to the First Lady and wrote this piece in from Abuja