Wife of the Nigerian President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, does not belong to the kitchen and bedroom, as her husband Muhammadu Buhari said in 2016 when she threatened not to vote for him again in 2019.
Mr Buhari, standing next to Angela Merkel in Germany, was asked by a reporter to react to his wife’s comments that she may not vote for him again, when he said she belongs to the “kitchen” and the “other room”, an insinuation she was not important for his re-election.
The comments infuriated women activists but galvanized Buhari’s male supporters who saw it as a way of fighting back a “disloyal wife”.
In an intercepted call, the former intelligence agency boss in Nigeria refered to her as a “suicide bomber” following her damaging comments in a televised interview widely circulated around the world.
Now, with Nigerians going to the polls in February, Mrs Buhari has changed her mind.
On Tuesday, she appealed to Nigerian women to vote for her husband and the ruling All Progressives Congress in 2019, a statement by her spokesman said.
She made the appeal at a National Women Leadership Summit organized by a political group, Project 4+4 for Buhari and Osinbajo 2019.
The event held at the National Women Development Center in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
Mrs. Buhari observed that during the last election, women participated fully in the voting process and ensured that APC was elected.
She said that is why the government of President Muhammadu Buhari came up with social investment programs targeted at them and their children in order to engage them and reduce the level of poverty among them.
She called on them to spread the good news of the accomplishments of this administration.
Mrs Buhari said women have been at the receiving end of the struggles of men, especially soldiers who have been fighting insurgency and called on government to ensure speedy release of their entitlements so that their families do not suffer. She called for a one-minute silence over all soldiers that lost their lives in the process.
She commended the political group for organizing the Summit and setting the tone for other Buhari support groups as 2019 election campaign period opens.
Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, speaking at the event, commended women for providing a permanent support base for the APC and said they remain ambassadors of the party wherever they find themselves. She called on them to continue to support the party, saying continuation of the party in 2019 means a better Nigeria for them and their children.
Earlier, National Coordinator of Project 4+4, Comrade Garba Musa Bello, said the purpose of the Summit was to bring together women from 774 local government areas and chart for them a strategy for the campaign period. He said it is not in doubt that women control the voting power and as such they must be reckoned with. He pointed out that the successes of government are too glaring to ignore, and women, who are witnesses and beneficiaries to these achievements must pronounce them to the world. He commended wife of the President and the role she plays in Nigeria’s political space, saying women have confidence in her protection and support.
National Woman Leader, Salamatu Baiwa, said APC women have secured the concurrence of the party on the issue of a more gender-balanced administration come 2019. As campaign commences, she called for a mature campaign from members of the party, a campaign of issues and not that of insults. As a ruling party, she said, they must show example to other parties.
Goodwill messages and presentations were delivered by an array of women leaders and academics.
Simon is a renowned international journalist, founder and publisher of TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.