Buhari, who once said his wife belongs in the kitchen and bedroom, urges Nigerian governors to support their wives’ humanitarian efforts Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 7, 2021


Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking another term in office, surprised many people on Saturday, when he received the wives of Nigerian governors. All the 36 governors in Nigeria are men and all of them are married to women.

Mr. Buhari, who once told the world that his wife belongs in the kitchen and bedroom, and should not hold political opinions, urged Nigerian governors to support their wives’ humanitarian activities.

The claim by Mr. Buhari in 2016 that his wife, Aisha, belongs in the kitchen and bedroom, came after she granted an explosive interview to the BBC, warning that she may not support her husband for a second term in 2019 when Nigerians go to the polls.

During a press conference, standing besides Angela Merkel, the German chancellor who is a woman, Mr. Buhari said his wife belongs in the kitchen and the bedroom, leaving Mrs. Merkel startled  and triggering global outrage and protests in support of women.

Women activists in Nigeria and around the world quickly pointed out that women were not cooks and sex objects but intelligent human beings shaping the world.

Mr. Buhari never apologized.

But on Saturday as he seeks re-election, President Buhari commended the wives of governors for the various humanitarian activities they carry out in their states, and vowed to support them. 

President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, Wife of Imo State Governor, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha and other Wives of States Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and Wives of 36 States Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES 36 STATES GOV’S WIVES 1. President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and Wives of 36 State Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and Wives of 36 States Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

L-R; Wife of the President Hajiya Aisha, President Muhammadu Buhari being presented with a gift by the Wife Adamawa State Governor Hajiya Maryam Jibrilla during an audience with Wives of 36 State Governors at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES 36 STATES GOV’S WIVES 4. L-R; Wife of the President Hajiya Aisha, President Muhammadu Buhari being presented with a gift by the Wife Imo State Governor Mrs Nkechi Okorocha during an audience with Wives of 36 State Governors at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, Wife of Imo State Governor, Mrs Uju Okorocha and other Wives of States Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the Wives of the 36 States Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES 36 STATES GOV’S WIVES 8B. President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and Wives of Northern State Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and Wives of Southern State Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and Wives of 36 States Governors during an audience at the State house Saturday night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 26TH MAY 2018.

He made the commendation when wives of state governors paid him a visit under the auspices of the Northern and Southern Governors Wives Forum at the Presidential Villa on Saturday 26thMay, 2018.

President Buhari assured the governors’ wives of his support and assured them that he would canvass more moral and financial support for them.l, according to a statement by the spokesman of Mrs. Aisha Buhari.

“I appreciate the role you are playing as your work helps in pricking the conscience of the people.” He especially commended their work on the IDPs and disadvantaged children as well as the fight against drug abuse.

President Buhari also encouraged them to interface with Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Ministry of Agriculture over new and existing opportunities that women farmers and entrepreneurs can take advantage of.

The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, speaking at the occasion, underscored the complementary role that wives of governors play in supporting the programmes and policies of their husbands, stressing the need for the governors to encourage them.

She highlighted areas where efforts are more pronounced as girl-child education, child abuse, women and youth empowerment and health promotion.

“As mothers of the states, wives of governors have the ears of women and youths; this is so because they run programmes that directly touch these categories of Nigerians” she said, calling on the President to support their work.

Chairperson, Northern Governors Wives Forum, and wife of the Governor of Bauchi State, Mrs. Hadiza Abubakar said apart from issues of maternal health and girl-child education, the flagship programme of the forum is prevention of substance abuse, for which they rally stakeholders to come to a holistic solution. She commended the ban on codeine-containing cough syrups, describing it as a major breakthrough.

The Forum, she stated, is advocating for the revival of moribund drug rehabilitation centers and the establishment of new ones in states that do not have them.

Chairperson, Southern Governors Wives Forum and wife of the Governor of Imo State, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha, said their activities take a cue from the works of Mrs. Buhari’s Future Assured Programme and focuses on issues of cultism, kidnapping, child labour, baby factories and youth restiveness. She said the Forum had trained 1000 women in different skills, while 2000 school children were supported with educational materials.

Highlight of the event were presentations to the President by the two leading wives of Governors.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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