In Defense of Aisha Yesufu By Gimba Kakanda

If you don’t know Mrs. Aisha Yesufu of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, I understand why your ignorance of her inspires you to join or form a counterforce against her activism, especially in refuting her account of the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and parents of the abducted girls of Chibok, which she witnessed.
Aisha is a private citizen, businesswoman, wife and mother. She’s an advocate of good governance, not a political establishment. I know her well enough to express that she’s no political affiliation, nor even an ambition. Born and bred in Kano, she’s of Edo State descent. A sketch of her biography is all you need to realize the extent of her sacrifice in a clime of “federal character principles” the cartographers of ethno-religious bigotries wouldn’t let her aspire to a political office. You may see now why she’s misunderstood by the fire-spitting minions who always lurk around to pounce on any critic of Buhari.
Her account of the meeting is a portrayal of President Buhari as emotionally absent at the meeting, and his Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Aisha Jummai Alhassan, contemptuous, insensitive and mischievous. Even Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, in challenging reports that the President left the meeting visibly angry, corroborated claims that parents of the missing girls present “didn’t feel him”. Both the President and his Minister, according to various accounts, were uninspiring. The summary of the meeting was, the group was mounting too much pressure on the government even though the abduction took place in the last administration.
On Twitter, Maureen, another extraordinarily resilient member of BBOG, reported a troubling exchange between Aisha Alhassan and Aisha Yesufu. The Minister, according to Maureen, asked grieving parents to leave everything to God. In their defence, Aisha Yefusu asked why she went to court and not God on losing the Governorship election in Taraba State. Poignant!
If there’s one voice I will always regard as credible in this campaign, it has to be Aisha Yesufu’s. Unlike the others who’ve had a stint with a government or politicians, she IS neutral to partisan allegiances. She’s only pitched tents with the better alternative, and furiously supported Candidate Muhammadu Buhari in the period running up to the 2015 general elections.
Some of the cyber-thugs who have taken up a challenge to shame her, have never done in their entire life what she does in a single day, committing, for the past 642 days, her hard-earned resources to fighting for the rescue of our Chibok girls.
At the time many of us were reluctant in lending our voice to the story of the abduction, she emerged from absolute oblivion and challenged the Jonathan-led government to be honest in admitting its poor response to the condition of citizens abducted in northeast Nigeria.
Of Chibok girls, while some bigoted people attempted to point to them as mostly Christians, this devout Muslim woman defied the polarizing scheme in championing what has now become symbolic in drawing the attention of the world to the previously overlooked cases of abduction of our innocent citizen in that terrorist-infested region.
She was so notorious in her confrontations with Jonathanians that when the veteran journalist, Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf, died in a stampede in Saudi Arabia, some, mistaking Bilkisu for Aisha, put up a picture of of the latter to celebrate the death. Because she was a bogey to those agents of darkness who promoted the tragedy that was Goodluck Jonathan.
Aisha’s only flaw is, she’s not politically correct. Unlike Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, who’s friends with prominent people of our political establishment, she doesn’t not belong in the elite class, and doesn’t give a damn how she’s perceived by them.
A day to ministerial inauguration, Barr. Solomon Dalung, then a ministerial designate, was at the BBOG sit-out, and Aisha, being Aisha, looked him in the eyes and said, “You are one of us. Tomorrow you will be a part of them. We don’t know the portfolio yet, but we want you to represent our interests there. And if you didn’t… ” And then she shook her head. Dalung got her message.
This is the Aisha some of you, who have never done anything different to promote justice in this country, seek to shame.
Her account of their meeting with President Buhari is simply her honest perception of the man’s attitude towards them. Because she wasn’t looking at a deity, but a human elected to do better than a failed human before him.
As for those who’ve been sharing a 5-minute video of Aisha Alhassan to present the events of a meeting that lasted for hours, I hope you see the cruelty of your mischief. And those who are asking the campaigners to “give up and face reality”, such damning absurdity is not a surprise from partisan savages. I hope you know what it means to imagine that your own biological daughter is alive, and being abused, among a cult of savages.

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