ABUJA (The T.A. Report) ― A prominent advocate for good governance in Nigeria, Ayesha Bwari, has admitted she sometimes forgets she is, in fact, the country’s first lady.
The activist, who came into limelight in the run-up to the 2015 general elections, recently lectured healthcare providers on how they could help reduce medical trips abroad ― right after returning from one herself.
“I recall hosting the private healthcare Providers earlier in the year and we had a very productive engagement where the issue of building the capacity of Nigeria health sector was the major focus, and funding was discovered to be the major challenge,” she observed on Friday.
Later speaking to our correspondent, Ms Bwari said it had ― “funny enough” ― not crossed her mind her husband, coincidentally also the President, could do something about the funding challenge.
“Ah! Why did I not think of that?” she asked rhetorically. “To tell you the truth, I keep forgetting that I am a member of the first family.”
“You see, aside from the aides, bodyguards, convoys, high-level meetings, and occasional trips abroad, I try to keep a low profile.”
She further explained that, as an activist, she must not shy away from any opportunity to call out whatever is wrong with Nigeria ― “even if we share the same bed with them”.
Ms Bwari had had to travel to Dubai for treatment after complaining of “severe neck pain”. She had publicly complained in 2017 about the lack of essential equipment at the villa clinic, which unfortunately forced her to “go to a hospital owned and operated by foreigners 100 per cent”. She has since realised even this is not enough.
The T.A. Report gathered that there is an unwritten rule at the presidential villa that all illnesses designated as “severe” must be treated in foreign hospitals only.
“People have been flown abroad in the past because of severe catarrh, severe loss of appetite, and even severe minor injuries,” one source told our reporter. “We just cannot take chances with the local health infrastructure destroyed by the opposition party.”
Meanwhile, experts have suggested the unusual pain experienced by the first lady might be because “she often stretches her neck to look for solutions outside the presidential villa when they are right beside her”. Given her recent press statement, they added, Nigerians should expect that more state resources will be spent on additional trips to the United Arab Emirates.
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