Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq was the cynosure of all eyes on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja. Colleagues milled around her. They smiled with her; they shook hands with her.
As she finished with one group of ministers, she was ambushed by another. And in all the situations, her expressions seemed to be saying: ‘Me, not me o?’ or ‘Don’t mind the fake news merchants.’
As she spoke, gesticulating either with the raise of both hands or wearing of stern look, her colleagues listened with rapt attention as though concurring with her that fake news merchants deserved to be in hell. All these happened at the Executive Chambers before the commencement of the meeting.
The fake news merchants last weekend printed her wedding invitation cards; chose last Friday as her wedding day, decided on Central Mosque, Abuja, as venue and even worked out dress code details. Above it all, they chose a groom for her: Muhammadu Buhari, her boss and the President.
Many were waiting for the wedding of the century and not a few felt the President was now ready to “deal with his wife Aisha”, who has openly criticised his government. But, the problem with the whole arrangement was that the supposed bride-to-be was in New York, United States (U.S.), on official assignment.
Mrs. Buhari, with who she was supposed to share her husband, returned to the country on Sunday after being away for some weeks. Hajia Farouq’s first public outing since her New York assignment and indeed, since the wedding rumour, was on Wednesday’s FEC meeting.
So, her colleagues wanted to hear directly from her and she seemed to have assured them that it was not her show.