Wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday, felicitated with Nigerians on the 59th independence anniversary of Nigeria but kept silent on her whereabouts.
This was the first time she made a public statement after more than two months absence from Nigeria.
There had been speculations she fled Aso Rock because of alleged political skirmishes.
Although she did not talk about her whereabouts, she called on privileged Nigerians to do more to improve the lives of women and children in the society.
Aisha made the call in her Independence Day message which she shared via her Instagram handle and Facebook page.
She said, “On the occasion of the 59th independence anniversary of our dear nation, I wish to restate my resolve to touch more lives through Aisha Buhari Foundation and Future Assured Programs.
“I however continue my call on privileged Nigerians, the private sector and non-governmental organisations to do more in the areas of education, health, empowerment and protection of women and children. It is my earnest belief that the future is bright. Happy Independence Day, Nigeria.”
Speculations were rife that Aisha was unable to pull her weight round the Aso Villa lately and uncomfortable with how government affairs were being run by some powerful people in her husband’s cabinet.
Aisha has not been in the country for nearly two months since the completion of the Hajj. She reportedly jetted out of Saudi Arabia, where she went in company with her husband, to London at the completion of the religious pilgrimage in August.
Her long stay out of the country fuelled concerns that she left Aso Rock Villa in protest against certain issues at the seat of power.
The prolonged absence from Aso Villa became pronounced as she did not attend public functions that she would have attended.
She was said to be absent from the mid-August Eid-el-Kabir celebration in Daura, Katsina State, even though his husband was there to welcome world leaders such as the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration, Dr Hajo Sani, had represented Aisha on a number of occasions, including an event of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development, which held on September 25, on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States.
The event was said to have been attended by the first ladies of Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Niger Republic.
But the Director of Information to the First Lady, Suleiman Haruna, has said Aisha’s absence from the country for about two months was not due to any infighting in Aso Villa.
He said, “It’s a free world and people have been speculating about everything in this country and it is allowed. She is a free Nigerian and does not work for the government. So, if she decides to stay somewhere in her village for two months or to go somewhere and stay for two months, why should it become a national issue?
“She is a free Nigerian and has absolute freedom to move round for however long she wants.”