Nigerian President Buhari claims 'superiority' over wife, says she 'belongs to my kitchen'
In an interview with the BBC on Friday, Aisha Buhari suggested that the government had been hijacked by a 'few people' and her husband does not know '45 out of 50 people'?holding top posts in the country. Photograph: (Getty)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari responded to his wife's criticism of his leadership by saying 'she belongs to my kitchen' during his visit to Berlin.
"I don't know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room," Buhari said.
In an interview with the BBC on Friday, Aisha Buhari indicated that she may not back her husband's bid in the next election. She suggested that the government had been hijacked by a "few people" and her husband does not know '45 out of 50 people' holding top posts in the country.
Aisha, whose grandfather was Nigeria's first defence minister, said that she did not know if Buhari would contest in the 2019 elections but "if things continue like this... I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again". The first lady was at the fore of Buhari's election campaign last year.
"It is not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties to participate in the government," he told journalists, addressing the press following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, AFP reported.
He also said he had more political experience than her, "so I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition because, in the end, I have succeeded" in winning Nigeria's presidency.
After Buhari's statement, people took to social media wondering what Buhari meant by the 'other room'. Some mocked his statement while other condemned the President's thoughts on a woman's role in society.
What's the colour of #TheOtherRoom??— Nse Ikpe-Etim (@NseIkpeEtim) October 14, 2016
Women/Girls belong everywhere they darn well CHOOSE -Boardroom, Living room, Bedroom, Situation room, in Space or on the Moon?? #TheOtherRoom— Juliet 'Kego (@julietkego) October 14, 2016
The President's official spokesperson, Garba Shehu tried to defuse the situation on Twitter by assuring people that the president "respects the place of women in our society" and "believes in the abilities of women". She further said that the statement was made in humour.
"He was obviously throwing a banter," Shehu said on Twitter.
Politics sometimes should be spiced with humour. Those of us around him know there is never a dull moment with him.— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) October 14, 2016
My friends, can't a leader get a sense humour anymore? Mr. President laughed before that statement was made.— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) October 14, 2016
The 73-year-old former military ruler was elected in 2015 on an anti-corruption platform and his pledge to crush the militant group Boko Haram.
Nigeria's economy has taken the worst hit in 25 years, due to a fall in global oil prices. Africa's largest economy is now battered by a recession that has slashed the country's main source of income.
Buhari said his government was continuing to fight to combat major economic, security and corruption problems it inherited, Reuters reported. He also said there would be continued efforts to bring back the remaining girls kidnapped by Boko Haram.
"About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists. We hope we'll get some ... intelligence to go about securing the balance."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European union would begin negotiations with Nigeria this month about a migration deal.
(WION with inputs from agencies)