For Three years 40-year-old Saudatu Aliyu was deceived into believing that she was married to former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Don’t be surprised, Saudatu’s daughter and her husband tricked her and collected he sums of money running into millions to ‘have a wedding with Buhari’
First, he founded a non profit organization and asked that she gave him money to travel to Abuja for registration, after which he started using the activities of the NGO to deceive his mother-in-law that President Buhari had seen some of the videos where she featured and he said he loved her!
“I didn’t believe him until when I asked his wife (my daughter) and she swore by Allah and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that what her husband said was true, that she was present when ex-President Buhari said it. I couldn’t control my tears. My son-in-law later brought out a paper, alleging that it was a letter written by Buhari to me and read it to my hearing. He said Buhari requested for my personal pictures.
Worried that she didn’t tell anyone?
Saudatu said they made her believe it was a secret.
“They said it was a secret, so I shouldn’t tell anybody because if people or other women got to know about the proposal, they would get jealous and might kidnap me. They said I shouldn’t tell even my parents until the relationship became stronger. I worked with all they said. Two days after, they called to ask if I had accepted ex-President Buhari’s proposal. I said yes basically because he is a northerner and Fulani by tribe. Thereafter, he requested for my pictures, with a promise that he was going to give to them to Buhari. So I went to a photo studio and snapped different pictures, from which he selected the ones he would take to Buhari.
After collecting my pictures, he requested for N57,000 for transport and hotel accommodation. Two days after, he called me, saying he was still in Abuja and the money I gave them was not enough, so I should send more money for transport. I sent N7,000 again for transport back to Minna. When they came back, they told me they met Buhari at the Villa and he was happy. He gave me Buhari’s picture, saying the former president gave it to him. He also brought a letter from Buhari, which he read to me.
At that point, I asked if I would let my parents know of the proposal, but he said I should wait until Buhari visited me in Minna. He promised to let me know if Buhari gave him a date for his visit so that I would inform my parents. He also told me that the then Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum and Buhari himself had agreed to join my NGO. He later told me that Zulum wanted to take over as the chairman of the organisation, adding that he always had meetings with them.
On several occasions he collected money from me to go to Abuja to see ex-President Buhari. He also tasked me to prepare food – pounded yam, tuwon shinkafa, with cow head and cow tail pepper soup, fried chicken and soft drinks, saying that Buhari and his team were coming to Minna to have a meeting with him. At a point, my parents insisted in knowing where I was taking those foods to. In fact, my father wanted to stop me.
Why didn’t she demand to see Buhari?
“Each time I finished preparing the food and dressed up to go and see Buhari with it, he would ask me to wait for him. He would come and collect the food himself or send his friends to come down and collect it from our house. He didn’t allow me to follow him with the food.
I spent a lot of money preparing the foods. He told me to take note of whatever I spent so that they would pay me back.
One day, he said Buhari was ready for the wedding and I should begin to buy wears, adding that the former president wouldn’t want an elaborate ceremony. He wanted the wedding fatiha done secretly,” she said.
Surprisingly, she prepared for a wedding.
She said, “I bought seven different cloths (and co) for the wedding ceremony. I bought different foot-wears, which he collected to go and show the president for approval. He collected N50, 000 as transport fare for that journey also. And he told me he embarked on each journey with his wife. When he came back, he said Buhari said the cloths were okay and he was going to pay N100,000 as bride price. He gave me the N100, 000.
While I was eager to get the marriage contracted, I heard that he was leaving Minna for Kano on transfer. They didn’t even let me know that they were leaving Minna. But luckily for me, the day they were travelling, at the Niger State Transport Authority park at Tunga market, somebody saw them and called me, saying that my son-in-law was transferred to Kano and I didn’t inform her. I told her that I didn’t know. That was when I called him and he told me that it was an emergency and he was asked not to let anybody know about it. I prayed for them.
After they arrived Kano, my daughter called me, saying that a meeting was scheduled with Buhari’s representatives in Kano and I needed to be there. I travelled to join them in Kano for the meeting. I spent two weeks in Kano to meet with Buhari’s representatives to arrange for the wedding. At that meeting, a man dressed in northern traditional wears was introduced to me as Hadi Sirika, Buhari’s representative Buhari from Abuja. In fact, the man re-introduced himself to me and we had a discussion. He said four of them were billed to come from Abuja but others couldn’t make it. That was why he came alone. I spent a lot on refreshment because I did as my son in-law directed me to do. The Hadi Sirika promised to take my message to Buhari after our meeting.
I spent all my savings from my restaurant business on these movements. But while we were doing all these, I wasn’t comfortable; I was still in doubt and gripped with fear. I was wondering how former President Buhari did not see any woman to marry, except me.”
Additional reports : Daily Trust