The Frustration Of A First Lady -Aisha Buhari

Nigeria’s first ladies do not have constitutional roles. However, they have come wield power and influence over the years. This was especially the case with Mrs. Maryam Babangida and Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

However, Nigeria’s current first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has stayed away from the political arena and confined herself to domestic matters since her husband assumed office about 18 months ago.

But she recently forayed into the murky waters of Nigerian politics when she said she might not support her husband’s re-election in 2019 unless he retook control of his government from those who had allegedly hijacked the government.

According to her, the government has been hijacked by a “few people.”

Speaking in a BBC interview, she revealed that her husband “does not know” most of the top officials in his government; suggesting that a ‘powerful caucus’ is behind the presidential appointments. “The President does not know 45 out of 50, for example, of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years,” Aisha Buhari stated.

She said many people who have been appointed to top positions do not share the vision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) but they got the appointments because of the influence being wielded by a selected few. She noted that although the President has not made his 2019 ambition known to her, she will not campaign for him if he does not break the supposed cabal in his government and decides to run.


“He is yet to tell me but I have decided as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again,” Mrs Buhari swore.”

However, responding to the comment of his wife, President Muhammadu Buhari laughed it off, saying, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”

But the response of the President has come under criticism by many women, who described his comment as anti-women. According to Senator Biodun Olujimi, deputy minority whip of the Senate, the comment was s a wake-up call for women in the country to note that the establishment was against women. For Archbishop Magnus Atilade, President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-West zone, the First Lady’s comment should not be ignored. Many Nigerians believe the comment is reflective of the cracks in the ruling party and call on its members to resolve the crisis so that the nation can move forward. Will they listen? Time will tell.


Written by Bello Olusayo

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