The Dilemma Of President Buhari And His Wife Aisha Buhari

Opinion Oct 15, 2016
The Dilemma Of President Buhari And His Wife Aisha Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Wife, Hajiyya Aisha Buhari over the latter's public interview with UK based British Broadcasting Commission, BBC. While Nigerians were trying to understand the motive behind Mrs Aisha's interview, Mr President responded by reminding her that "she belongs to the kitchen". This subject I'm am writing on.

1. Where Does Aisha Belong?

While referring to the position of Dame Patience Jonathan the wife of then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in July 2013, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka insisted that she was nothing but "Domestic Appendage" of her husband, the President and possess neither power nor office that is constitutionally recognized. President Buhari in his interview reechoed the sentiment of prof Soyinka by insisting that his wife Aisha belongs to his kitchen, bedroom and other rooms but not the government.

First thing first, I am in agreement with Mr President's position that his spouse holds no office in government (though I have no business in discoursing whether she belongs to the kitchen or bedroom). The Nigeria constitution neither recognized any office for spouses of officials of government nor allocated any power to them. Though being a spouse to the President and other senior government officials comes with some unofficial benefits, those benefits remains privileges and not right. It is the President, and not his family was given a mandate by Nigerians to run the affairs of the state for a given period of time. The President along with the Vice President owns the government, and appoint other officers to perform some specific tasks as constitutionally prescribed. Neither their spouses nor any family member have any right to share powers with them.

Haven said that, I find it ridiculous that Mr President just realised that his Wife is not an officer of government. This is the same woman that the President allocated office to, appointed Aides to work with her and allocated funds to. The President should not expect Nigerians to clap for him for not "recognizing the office" that doesn't exist after he has spent millions of our scarce resources to pay her Aides and run her "office".

In fact, the President has only indicted himself that he has been upholding and encouraging illegality since May 29, 2015.

2. Muhammadu Buhari Promised Not To Operate Office of First Lady But...:

In an exclusive interview with Weekly Trust (in Kaduna) in December 2014, President Buhari as part of his campaign promises pledged not to operate the Office of First Lady because the constitution does not recognise it, and also because “There is the Ministry of Women Affairs, and so on” to represent the interest of women in government(cabinet)(DailyTrust December 26, 2014). Surprisingly, on January 2015, a month after making that statement, his wife, Hajjiya Aisha "tactically" countered him by saying that “If the office of the first lady is constitutionally recognised, he will not tamper with it, but if it is not, that’s okay."(PUNCH Jan 24, 2015), and she went on to sermonise Nigerians how she would operate the "office" as wife of the President (tactically avoiding the First Lady nomenclature).

Upon assumption to office, Buhari and his wife not only operated the office as if it was recognized but craftily changed the title from."First Lady" to "Wife of the President".

Therefore, Buhari not only breached the constitution but also went against his campaign promise. A betrayal of trust.

3. The First Couple Should Stop Making Caricature of Themselves In Public:

There is something funny about Mr President, he is fond of making ridiculous remarks and demarketing Nigeria through international Press. Coincidentally, his own wife that was supposed to defend him in public but criticise him in private chose a foreign medium to lash at her husband and his kitchen cabinet. It is however funny that Mr President that is expected to respond to his wife via phone call to her line also decided on responding to her through foreign press.

What kind of couple is this? Even if Aisha's role is in the kitchen, won't it be best for Mr President to privately remind her that she shouldn't interfere in his government? What is the wisdom in the action of Mrs Buhari that is supposed to be a source of support to her husband? Why is Mr President and Aisha embarrassing themselves as couple? It is even painful that the world will now see the level of communication between Nigeria's first family.

Is Mr President saying that he is clueless in the home front? If President Buhari can't control his wife and family, how then is he expected to handle the complicated affairs of Nigeria?

4. Nigerians Are Not Interested In Aso Rock's Power Play:

Dear Mrs Buhari, Nigerians voted your husband to deliver on a mandate(which he has largely failed to do). Nobody is interested in who and who makes up his kitchen cabinet or who calls the shots in Aso Rock. It is not our business.

In fact, there is no government or institutions without inner caucus, internal politics and power play. Mrs Aisha should not drag Nigerians into Aso Rock's politics, looking for cheap public sympathy because she lost out in the power game. Please Ma, keep your wailing to yourselves and your cliques.

5. Mrs Aisha Didn't Say Anything New:
I was glad when Mrs Aisha admitted that the government has failed, but I also know that patriotic Nigerians in their tens of millions have been shouting this. Mrs Aisha stated that she won't campaign for her husband if he should seek reelection in 2019, but I know that whether she campaigns or not, her husband will leave Aso Rock in 2019 because he has failed Nigerians. No going back.

However, Nigerians will be highly grateful to Mr President and his wife if they desist from responding to each other in public and allow Mr President face the business of governance that he was elected to do until his time elapses in 2019.

The Dilemma Of President Buhari And His Wife Aisha Buhari
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