Dignitaries who on Thursday attended the public presentation of a book written by the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, deliberately refused to make their donations public. It was not clear whether their decision was based on the present administration’s anti-graft posture.
The prominent Nigerians converged on the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for the presentation of Mrs. Buhari’s book, “The Essentials of Beauty Therapy: A Complete Guide for Beauty Therapy.”
The proceeds from the presentation, the organisers said, would be sent to parents of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in April, 2014 and the parents of the boys abducted in Buni Yadi.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo started the secret donation when he announced that Mrs. Buhari should not expect any big donation from him because he and the President were on half salaries. He added that he would not be able to donate big money because “Buhari is very strict on money matters.”
“The President and I are on half salaries. The President is very strict on money issues. So, don’t expect me to make a large donation,” he said.
Osinbajo said the presentation of the book highlighted the importance of the girl-child education as he observed that if the wife of the President had not got the opportunity to go to school, she would not have been able to write the book and teach others.
He said, “Girl-child education is still an issue, girls not having the opportunity to go to school. If the wife of the President didn’t have the opportunity to go to school, she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to reach others.
“It emphasises the importance of education. Her desire to dedicate the proceeds of the presentation to the victims of insurgency and particularly the families of the Chibok girls is commendable.”
The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was the chairman of the occasion, also failed to announce his donation. Tinubu, who was represented by his wife, Oluremi, however, commended Mrs. Buhari for her decision to invest the proceeds in charity. On the importance of the book, the APC leader said Nigeria and Nigerians needed to begin to pay attention to beauty industry which he said was capable of generating income and employment.
He also stressed the need to set up beauty and therapy schools where interested persons would be properly trained. The book presenter, Senator Daisy Danjuma, also failed to make her donation public. She however commended Mrs. Buhari for writing the book.
The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who spoke on behalf of the 36 state governors, also followed the same line. Although, he promised that state governors would make the books available to all the local government areas in the country, he did not announce how much they would pay.
Others who spoke but failed to announce their donations were the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr. Musa’udu Kazaure; the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Prof. Abdusalami Nasidi; and the wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr. Zainab Bagudu.
In her remarks, Mrs. Buhari said her decision to present the book now was to contribute to the support of victims of insurgency, particularly mothers and children as well as malnourished kids across the nation. She urged members of the audience to buy the book to support the girl-child education.