Aisha Yesufu, a key supporter of Labour Party’s Peter Obi and controversial social media figure, has been fantasizing about a coup in Nigeria. Since the ouster of the democratically-elected government in neighbouring Niger Republic, she has issued a couple of tweets disparaging calls warning against a yearning for a similar occurrence in Nigeria, while expressing tacit support for the violent overthrow of the country’s constitutional government.
“They are not against coup, they just fear that they may be next,” she tweeted in one of such tweets, drawing condemnation from lovers of peace and democracy. Many have attributed her wild turn to enduring bitterness over the comprehensive defeat of the Labour Party in the last general elections. Others believe the chief reason is more personal: she is desperate to distract from calls for her to account for the donations she received during the elections.
As part of her exuberant support for Obi, Aisha Yesufu conducted several public donations purportedly meant to fund the rise of the “third force President” who, though is a billionaire with several offshore accounts in locations where corrupt politicians stash stolen wealth, was presented as a cash-strapped politician requiring the contributions and donations of ordinary citizens to compete.
According to critics, Yesufu, in this way, raised cash totalling millions from Nigerians at home and in the diaspora. The donations were made to accounts Yesufu provided and reportedly has sole, exclusive access to. Requests to account for how the donations were spent, especially as reports of diversion are now rife, have been met with silence and obfuscation by the self-described activist.
In a recent bust-up with Kelvin Odanz, another prominent social media actor, Yesufu’s allegedly dubious management of the donations was again brought to the fore as she was widely mocked as “Hushpuppi in Hijab.”
The epithet, which immediately became the number one trending topic on Twitter Nigeria, likened Aisha Yesufu to convicted fraudster, Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas, known for targeting unsuspecting and trusting entities with email phishing links and other business scams. The only exception is Yesufu’s hijab-wearing practice, which the abuse implied was meant to conceal her true nature as a prolific fraudster.
Despite the virality of the remark and additional calls for Aisha Yesufu to clear her name by publicly declaring how much was raised and the management of the funds, she has refused to give a public account, opting instead for more online brawls and name-calling.
Her recent coup daydreaming has been regarded as a continuation of the deflection, as she is unwilling to reveal what she did with the sizable funds she raised, thus fuelling suspicions of diversion and misappropriation.