US-based Nigerian professor, Moses Ochonu, has said that First Lady Aisha Buhari may have allowed insecurity about her weight to get the better of her.
Ochonu said this in a Facebook post while reacting to the reported arrest of Aminu Muhammad, a 500-level student of Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State.
Muhammad was reportedly arrested by plain-clothed policemen over a June 8, 2022 tweet purportedly mocking the First Lady.
A journalist, Jaafar Jaafar, alleged on Monday that the First Lady’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Usman Shugaba, orchestrated the arrest and torture of the victim.
He further alleged that Aisha Buhari joined Shugaba in beating Muhammad to a pulp, adding that she fractured her leg while trying to kick the victim.
Reacting on Tuesday, Ochonu expressed surprise that the First Lady could resort to such brazen acts, having been “known for being circumspect if not discreet, about the exercise of power”.
“She was known for being self-critical and blunt about her’s and her husband’s failings.
“Some people even saw her as the conscience of a disastrous administration, able to rise above the Aso Rock bubble and look inward critically.
“Moreover, many more damaging and malicious statements and allegations have been made or insinuated about her, and she never lashed out or sent security people after those who made those allegations and attacks.
“Why was this time different? Why is the case of the young FU Dutse student different? What about his statement/allegation sent her over the edge? Why did she send security agencies to abduct, torture, and detain him?” he asked.
Proposing a theory on the matter, Ochonu stated, “I have a theory. The young man’s social media post alluded to her weight. Most people are sensitive about their weight gain, women even more so.
“Everyone who has been observant knows that Aisha Buhari has packed on a few pounds since her husband became President and she First Lady.
“The young man stated essentially that “ta ci kudin talakawa ta koshi,” meaning that she has grown fat or full on the money of the Nigerian poor. And he posted her current photo alongside his statement to illustrate his point about literally feeding fat on Nigeria’s money.
“The truth is that her weight gain, contrary to the young man’s suggestion, may have nothing to do with food, access to public money, or enjoyment as we say in Nigeria. It is more likely a medical issue or the familiar struggle of middle age people with weight as their metabolism slows down.
“In fact, contrary to popular belief in Nigeria, truly rich people or people who have access to money, licit or illicit, rarely pack on the pounds. Instead, they even tend to lose weight.
“Why would you eat more or eat unhealthy food when you can afford to eat sumptuous but healthy meals?
“I have always said that if I ever become rich, I will get into the best shape of my life and live my healthiest life. I would hire a private chef to make me healthy meals. I would also hire a personal physical trainer. I may even retain the services of a nutritionist.
“Most rich people can afford these resources and therefore tend to live healthier lives as they grow richer. Only few rich people go in the other direction and gain weight, but that’s often due to underlying conditions, genetics, and, in a few cases, lack of awareness.
“Aisha Buhari, I suspect, allowed her weight insecurity to get the better of her in this situation. That’s probably why someone known for self-critical restraint, has acted like a power-mad person in this situation.
“At any rate, if she thought that sending security agencies after the young man would deter further comments about her alleged chopping and growing fat on our national resources, she has calculated wrongly because Nigerian and Arewa social media has been awash with photo comparisons and memes of her before and after she moved to Aso Rock.
“She has unleashed the trolls. She is receiving woto woto, and the new memes make the statement of the detained young man seem like a compliment.
“As we say in Nigeria, she don buy market.”