When a lover's spat goes wrong in Nigeria - Muhammadu vs. Aisha Buhari

Friday, October 14, 2016

On October 14th, 2016, audio of comments by Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari, was released publicly. She stated her disagreement with some of her husband's choices and stated some concerns. The First Lady's opinion stemmed from her desire to ensure that "he will leave a legacy."

Image result for aisha buhari vs muhammadu buhari
Source: uncova.com

Personally, I didn't like it when I heard about this. I don't think her public comments were helpful for Nigeria - a country where there's significant economic and political insecurity. Such comments from the First lady only serve to further the dysfunction.

Nevertheless, I figured there's a silver lining in the sad situation - it's a good thing that a first lady is empowered enough to publicly express herself even if such seems contrary to her spouse's stance on political matters. Maybe that can be a positive example to others who need it? Maybe?

And that is how I would have spun the situation if I was President Buhari and I was asked by reporters.

"My wife, the First Lady of Nigeria, like all Nigerians, is allowed to have an opinion and express it. And as any husband can imagine, I have to get used to hearing it often. Just as I have to get used to hearing the opinions of the people I serve ..."

Make a joke out of it, in a respectful manner, to diffuse the tension. Pivot from the question and move on.

Instead of downplaying their obvious disagreement, what could even have been chalked up to a lover's spat someday, Nigeria's president informed the world that his wife "belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room." All this at a conference in Germany. A country with an accomplished and well-respected FEMALE head of state. Oh, and he was standing right next to Germany's head of state.

He went on to "claim superior knowledge over her" as well.

His reaction reinforces one of the most acute criticisms of himself and his administration - a lack of originality, an inability to verbalize concrete ideas other than dusty old tomes that aren't suitable for today's reality. These are two political sins that have crippled Nigeria for decades and continue to break the backs of citizens. How easy it is to diminish a woman's ideas because she has stepped out of her 'place' - the kitchen, the bedroom...

All his "clapback' managed to achieve is reveal his misogyny and disrespect. Not just toward his wife but towards women in general. All because she had an opinion and voiced it publicly, it seems. An opinion stemming from a desire to ensure his greatness and help her country.

How disappointingly sad.

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