In the past few days there has been some rumble from Nigeria’s first family with the first lady, Aisha Buhari revealing to the BBC Hausa service her misgivings about the manner in which her husband’s presidency is being run.
Mrs. Buhari openly questioning President Muhammadu Buhari’s governance and said she may not support him if he decided to run for re-election in 2019.
The statement has drawn varying reactions from commentators in traditional and online media. Some even posted picture of the first couple facing each other tagging it Buhari vs Buhari, others have even questioned if the president is about to divorce the first lady. There are rumours that he has already divorced here.While the heated conversations were going on, nothing would have prepared anyone to the president’s response to his wife’s interview.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently on an official visit to Germany, told AP reporters who wanted his reaction to the Aisha’s BBC interview, laughed off the first lady, 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.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a woman, one of the world’s most powerful leader, who was standing at his side, to give him a short glare and a sheepish laugh.In an interview with the BBC Hausa-language service broadcast Friday, October 14, 2016, Aisha Buhari said her husband did not know many top government appointees, and she accused them of not sharing the vision of his All Progressives Congress Party, APC. She did not name names.
Buhari, who was briefly a military dictator in the 1980s, was elected in his fourth run at the presidency in 2015 on the back of a coalition that includes former foes and opportunists who abandoned the former governing party of defeated President Goodluck Jonathan.
Buhari has not said whether he will run again in 2019, it must be noted.
In his comments to reporters, Buhari also said he hopes his wife will remember that he ran for president three times before succeeding on the fourth effort.
“So, I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition, because in the end I have succeeded. It’s not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government,” Buhari said.Buhari had campaigned on promises to crack down on corruption and turn the tide against the Boko Haram insurgency. His government yesterday announced the first negotiated release of 21 of 218 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014.
However, Nigeria’s northeast faces a famine that threatens to kill tens of thousands of children after Boko Haram disrupted the region’s transportation and farming. Some areas remain dangerous and inaccessible.
Nigeria has also fallen into recession amid slumping oil prices and lost its position as Africa’s biggest petroleum producer as militants attacked pipelines in the south.
Samuel Okechukwu is a freelance journalist.