Dubai trip wasn’t for birthday cake presentation to Aisha Buhari – Governors’ Wives forum

The Nigerian Governors Wives Forum has denied claims making the rounds that they flew to Dubai to present a cake to the first lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, on the occasion of her 51st birthday on February 17.

A video of the wives of governors in Dubai, carrying a cake and singing Happy birthday as they entered a suite occupied by Mrs. Buhari surfaced online on Tuesday March 1. The video sparked outrage on social media as users accused the first ladies of spending state funds on ”frivolities”.

However, in a statement released, the wife of Ekiti state governor and Chairlady of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum, Bisi Fayemi, explained that the governors’ wife did not travel to Dubai to present a cake to the president’s wife on her birthday. She stated that they were on an official visit to Dubai and the visit coincided with Aisha Buhari’s birthday so the governor’s wives decided to surprise her with a cake.

“Our attention has been drawn to a social media post shared on the 1st of March 2022 suggesting that some Nigerian Governors’ Wives were in Dubai to surprise the First Lady of Nigeria Dr Aisha Buhari on the occasion of her birthday on the 17th of February 2022.

For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of the public, the Nigerian Governors Wives were on the entourage of the First Lady of Nigeria who was on an official trip to the UAE.

The trip included visits to Dubai Expo 2020, and tours of the Dubai e-learning centre, Dubai Youth Hub and meetings with foundations and agencies in UAE who are interested in investing in education, health and technology in Africa, with priority given to women and young people.

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The trip coincided with the birthday of Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari. On the morning of her birthday, which was February 17, the delegation of Governors’ Wives paid a private visit to present a cake and flowers. After the brief presentation, we proceeded to attend the scheduled meetings for the day.

We were therefore dismayed to see footage of the visit interpreted as to mean Governors’ Wives left Nigeria for the sole of celebrating HE’s birthday.

This is not true and we find this assumption scandalous. We are all dedicated to supporting our spouses as well as our First Lady, and we would never be a party to anything that will bring embarrassment to them and ourselves.

Our key learnings from our visits to the various agencies in Dubai and the briefings we received points to the need for Nigeria to scale up investments in education, science and technology and provide more opportunities for young people, who are the key to the future. We will continue to address these issues in our own work as well as advocate for increased commitments in these areas from our leaders.”

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