The story first emerged on January 27. It was reported that an elderly woman had donated her life savings to support the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Hajiya Fati Maitalle Tara who donated N1m to Buhari

It immediately went viral among Nigerians focused on the upcoming presidential elections. A Leadership correspondent found the woman who donated N1m to Buhari and asked her to comment on the issue.

UPDATED on February 10

Hajiya Fati Maitalle Tara did not hesitate to give the money when Buhari campaigned in Kebbi. She had waited for 9 hours to make the generous move.

Hajiya Fati Koko popularly called ‘Mai Talle Tara’ is a popular business woman in Koko, Koko LGA of the state.

The 95-year-old told what made her arrive and stay for so long in order make a contribution.

Hajiya Fati described the former military head of state as an honest, principled and God-fearing gentleman. According to the woman, she was first impressed by his performance in 1983 when he took over.

She added that her rise to moderate riches was due to Buhari’s honesty, which many Nigerian leaders lack.

“I was a contractor at that time. When Buhari took over, I executed a contract at a school in Gummi, now Zamfara State, worth about N40,000. Payment for the job done was denied me by the then Sokoto State government. I took a loan from several people just to execute the contract. But under Buhari, a committee was set up for verification which objectively inspected the project and recommended immediate payment without any kick back. I constructed two blocks of classrooms but because the then government did not want to pay me, they accused me of conniving with the engineer to carry out substandard work. But as I said, Buhari’s committee came and verified my work as one of the best and I got paid eventually.

“Yes, at that time during Buhari’s regime, honesty and transparency were the order of the day. One of the committee members used a digger to hit the blocks I had constructed with several times but it showed no sign of cracking and he said ‘this is a good work’.

“I have respect for Buhari, for his honesty and discipline and for that, I always dream of his leadership style again in Nigeria where corruption would cease and discipline would be restored in the society.”

Fati reinstated her commitment to Buhari saying that she had sacrificed not once to prove it.

“My late son, Lawali and I have made several sacrifices to the success of Buhari’s career both morally and financially. When Buhari was denied the leadership of this country in 2011 under the platform of ANPP, I decided not to take keen interest in politics again, but any time the name Buhari comes up again for president, I jump back on the train for a better Nigeria. I completely trust him to turn around our fortunes in this country.”

Additionally, she has persuaded many PDP supporters to become APC supporters.

“The people here know it and they can testify to that as I am talking to you now, APC has overrun Koko 99%.”

She was gently treated at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport which hosted a big crowd on that day.

Upon landing, Buhari himself headed straight to greet Hajiya Fati.

When asked about her emotions after meeting the APC candidate, the 95-year-old said:

“He is a man of the people. I was offered a seat near him. We greeted with joy, happiness and I said, ‘Baba, you have come’, he replied ‘yes’ and I said ‘God bless you! Carry on with your good intentions for the people’ and he said ‘I will’. Thereafter, we snapped a photo together.”

She recommended people from all over Nigeria to choose wisely, to choose Buhari:

“My fervent wish for Nigeria is to receive General Buhari not only in Kebbi, but all over the country to experience the rebirth we desperately need. I believe the man to take Nigeria to the promised land is Buhari, my politics is simply for Buhari till my life ends…

“Change comes with time and Buhari personifies the change we need at this point in time. He is the change we are all clamouring for. I prayed for Buhari and asked clerics to do same and the result is manifesting , Buhari’s enemies have now become his lovers. Do you know why I still like Buhari? He stands for truth and bears the name of my late father.”

INITIAL REPORT published on January 27 (see it below)

Hajia Mai Talle

The information was obtained from the Twitter account of Babangida Ruma, who according to the description was/is “Key Member Of Late President Umar Musa Yar’adua K34 Group”, “Political Commentator and President AYAIF Foundation”.

The 95-year-old woman named Hajia Mai Talle allegedly waited 9 long hours for Buhari to arrive at Kebbi in order to donate N1m for his campaign.

See the original tweet below:

It should be recalled that Buhari has been on numerous occasions criticised over running for the presidency at his age.

There was even an allegation that the former military head of state has poor health and therefore is not fit for the job. Buhari dismissed the information describing it as false.

Meanwhile, the APC campaign is focused on a “change” slogan and appeals to Nigerians of different ages.

Buhari, for his part, promises to initiate policies and programmes that will impact positively on the lives of youths of the country if  elected president.