On Friday, October 1, 2016, Aisha #BUHARI (The President's wife) gave an interview to the BBC in which she stated that her husband needed to change his approach to leadership or she may not support him in his next elections. She noted that the majority of the officials he appointed were unknown to her and possibly even her husband.
This sparked controversy and during the Berlin News conference, whilst standing opposite the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, (who happens to be a woman), he remarked that 'I don't know what party my wife belongs to but she belongs to my kitchen, my living room and my other room.' Many are wondering what this other room is but it doesn't take too much imagination to conclude that it involves a bed in it. You can watch the Video of the conference here.
The presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu took to twitter dismissing Buhari's remarks as a joke and banterous.
Politics sometimes should be spiced with humour. Those of us around him know there is never a dull moment with him.— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) October 14, 2016
He claims that the President's installation of a female finance minister shows his respect for women. It is important to know though that of the 36 states in Nigeria, a woman has never been a governor of one and the idea of a female vice president, let alone President is still completely mythical in Nigeria.
A small amount of people (thankfully) blamed Aisha for provoking the President based on he comments and remarked that she had no place to grant such an interview and should have fully supported her husband like Hillary Clinton did. This is merely confirmation of the issue that needs to be addressed, not only in Nigeria but apparently following the Donald Trump antics, worldwide.
Whilst this is not a 'we should all be feminists' article, it is undeniable that for the President of a country as big and civilized as Nigeria to make such a comment, there is a lot of work to be done for the betterment of women if we are to make any progress. It is sad that the president whose role is to empower and celebrate the citizens he governs over chooses to degrade and trivialize their existence so publicly. Coupled with the fact that according to Unicef, Nigeria homes the largest number of child brides in Africa, with 23 million girls having been married in childhood. It is also noted that Northern Nigeria (Buhari's origin) has the highest amount of child marriage in the country; Hence why many do not see his views as surprising.
It's not right and it's shocking that it happened but it's good that attention was drawn to it, opening the floor for the conversation.
As always comment down below your opinion on the issue and let's have a conversation. #Feminism #Africa