Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Woman power in Nigeria

Wives of Nigerian presidents are public figures, but usually they operate politically behind the scenes. Mrs. Buhari has stepped out.

Nigeria's president warned by First Lady Aisha Buhari
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's wife has warned him that she may not back him at the next election unless he shakes up his government.

Aisha Buhari
In a BBC interview, Aisha Buhari said the president "does not know" most of the top officials he has appointed.

She suggested the government had been hijacked, saying a "few people" were behind presidential appointments…

His wife's decision to go public with her concerns will shock many people, but it shows the level of discontent with the president's leadership, says the BBC's Naziru Mikailu in the capital, Abuja…

Aisha Buhari… kept a low profile at the start of the administration and was barely seen or heard. 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.

Her comments also bolster accusations that his government has been hijacked by a small group of individuals…

Mrs Buhari was prompted to to speak out in an effort to end those practices so that party loyalists who contributed to his election victory could benefit.

Her critics say she is speaking out only because she failed to convince the president to appoint her own people…

Asked to name those who had hijacked the government, she refused, saying: "You will know them if you watch television." …

The next day, the BBC reported this:  

Nigeria's President Buhari: My wife belongs in kitchen 

"Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to criticism from his wife by saying she belongs in his kitchen.

"On a visit to Germany, he said: 'I don't know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.'

"Mr Buhari was standing next to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who seemed to glare at him… "

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