Wife of Nigeria’s President Mrs Aisha Buhari Wednesday evening arrived Washington DC in the United States of America (USA) for a week-long visit that may appear to many as an attempt to make a political statement.
In June, the president’s wife was named by Ekiti state governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose as having links to the infamous Halliburton scandal, a mistaken reference to another corruption scandal involving a jailed American politician, Howard Jefferson.
In his subsequent claims, Fayose maintained that the president’s wife was the same as a certain Aisha Buhari mentioned in Jefferson’s conviction records as having facilitated the illicit transfer of funds from Nigeria to locations in the United States.
Following Mrs Buhari’s strong denials and threats of legal action against the outspoken governor, Mr Fayose dared the president’s wife to pay a visit to the US to prove she was not a fugitive of the law.
The acting public affairs officer of the US Consulate General, Lagos, Mr Frank Sellin had in July, in response to enquiries by newsmen on rumoured links between Aisha Buhari and the Halliburton scandal, said, “We have no information to provide on this matter.”
Wednesday’s trip to the United States may therefore be seen by many Nigerians and political observers as Mrs Buhari’s attempt to put the records straight and dispel the Ekiti governor’s assumptions.
According to Sahara Reporters, an official invitation letter sent to Mrs Buhari indicated that she was expected to arrive the US on Tuesday. Sources within the presidency are however said to have stated that Mrs Buhari was held back by official delays in Nigeria.
Mrs Aisha Buhari’s itinerary reflects a plan to attend some meeting at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She will also be hosted by the United States Institute of Peace, in collaboration with Voice of America, and attend the 25th Anniversary celebration of Zumunta Association USA Inc.