Buhari’s Comment On Wife Ignites Reactions
LAGOS OCTOBER 15TH (URHOBOTODAY)-President Muhammadu Buhari’s remarks that his wife’s place in government belongs only in the kitchen and “the other room” have sparked outrage on social media.
There was immediate criticism for the president’s thoughts on the role of women.
Some are wondering what Mr Buhari meant by “the other room”, while others have been posting pictures of a variety of bedrooms, and the hashtag #TheOtherRoom is trending in Nigeria.
One name that has been repeatedly mentioned as having a strong influence in Buhari’s appointments is his cousin, Mamman Daura.
Daura, who holds no official position, is said to be the most powerful man in the Presidency and is said to have Buhari’s ears.
There had been rumours within the Aso Villa of him having clashes with Buhari over his influence on the president.
She also mentioned the improvement of security in the north-east as her husband’s major achievement.
“No-one is complaining about being attacked in their own homes. Thankfully everyone can walk around freely, go to places of worship, etc. Even kids in Maiduguri have returned to schools,” Mrs. Buhari said.
Presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, have made spirited efforts to explain Buhari’s comment, saying it was a mere humour.
The comments by the president sparked a flurry of explanatory tweets by Mallam Garba Shehu, who said the president respected the place of women in society and believed in their ability.
Shehu dismissed the incident as a bit of “banter”.
Aisha Buhari campaigned vigorously for her husband in last year’s election in Nigeria, organising town hall meetings with women’s groups and youth organisations.
However, she kept a low profile at the start of the administration. She was restricted to her work on the empowerment of women and helping victims of the Boko Haram conflict in the north-east of the country where she is from.
This is one reason why this damning interview has caught the attention of many Nigerians.
It is a significant blow for Buhari, who has a reputation for being a tough, no-nonsense president.
Buhari’s comments also bolster accusations that his government has been hijacked by a small group of individuals.
The comments could also mark a turning point for a government that has clearly struggled to deal with economic recession and is facing growing disquiet within the ruling party.
Buhari was elected last year with a promise to tackle corruption and nepotism in government.
The Nigerian economy, battered by low global oil prices and a currency devaluation, officially entered recession in August for the first time in a decade. Oil sales account for 70% of government income.
The president famously remarked at his inauguration that he “belongs to nobody and belongs to everybody”.