Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari, has publicly criticized her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, and warned that she may withdraw her support for him in future elections. According to the Vanguard, she made the comments in a recent interview with the Hausa service of the BBC, where she alleged that Buhari’s government has been hijacked by cabal who are “behind presidential appointments.” The first lady’s comments come in the wake of mounting criticism against the government, as Nigerians grapple with the country’s worst economic crises in decades.
In the interview, Aisha claims that the President hardly knows the majority of the government appointees in his administration.
“The president does not know 45 out of 50 of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years,” she explained.
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Aisha also spoke out about her husband’s decision to appoint people who were not part of his campaign, saying, “Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position.”
President Buhari made it a point to feature his wife during last year’s election campaign in order to rally support from women and young people. Since her husband’s election, Aisha has taken on, what many describe, as a comparatively low profile.
During her interview, she warned that if things stayed the same with her husband’s administration, she would consider withdrawing political support for him if he decides to seek re-election.
“He is yet to tell me, but I have decided as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again,” she said.
It’s not clear why the first lady chose to go public about her personal issues with her husband’s government, but her comments have served to divide public opinion within Nigeria.
Some have praised her decision to slam the nepotism within the corridors of power, while others have observed that her actions are a publicity stunt, pointing out that she could have explored other avenues to channel her grievances.