17 Oct 2016

Aisha Buhari, The Kitchen And The Other Room - By Joseph Edgar

I am an ardent supporter of the President although not of his Government and most of his policies so far but on this issue I beg to distance myself from him.
His response to the very seminal queries raised by his wife especially standing beside a strong female personality as the German Chancellor leaves much to be desired. I think he should have just kept quiet and allowed the matter to slide than to give such a response which in my mind has further boosted his wife's currency as a true Nigerian Amazon in the mould of Kudirat Abiola.

The issues she raised in her BBC interview have taken us down to the very core of the Nigerian experience. She touched on Nepotism, favoritism, incompetence and the seeming hijack of Government apparatus by those who do not share the vision that overwhelmingly threw the Government into power. This in my minds eye are grave issues only a very courageous warrior would dare to bring up talk less of a woman brought up in a society steeped in conservative ethos.

For one I admire the President who despite his religious outlook and conservative mien would allow a person in the mould of Aisha exist. This interview did not just happen on us, it is a continuation of a person who has been given the freedom to build a personality and have an opinion by her husband for this I say thank you. For she could have been muzzled into silence and with religion limit her potentials. But that said, her interview shows a major breakdown in communication between she and her husband and a cry for help to save her husband from enemies within.

Her statement that she would not support any reelection bid is telling. It comes from the mind of a very morally upright personality. Before I read the interview the headline to me suggested that like most political wives she was taking that position for very selfish reasons which usually involves the husband not spending more time with the family or for health reasons. It was the Presidents response that made me go back to it. This was an almost accurate reading of the political situation especially with the ongoing travails of Asiwaju Tinubu.

This interview lays credence to all the conspiracy theory that has been going on on social media. Daily we are forcefully fed with all sort of stories of the Kaduna Mafia and how they have come back very seize the apparent controls of government. When she says that her husband is surrounded by those who did not fight for the electoral victory and who do not share the vision of change, one can only just try to tie this to the theories of hijack of power by the Presidents 'uncle' and other shadowy figures.

So the President's remarks only served to trivialise these very serious national issues that the beautiful Hajia brought up and shove them aside without really addressing the issues. This is not the correct position and with the kind of high respect I have of the person of the President and his position I will refrain from getting too heavy on him. But what I cannot leave out is the derogatory feel of his response even though it was meant to be a light banter I want to believe and this leads me to the question that where are the feminists. So her role in the bedroom and the other room is as sexist as can be and very well vested in Trumplike vestiges.

By that statement basically, Aisha despite her education, clarity on issues and strong support of the electoral movement and government should just 'shut up' and concentrate on other 'crucial things' that women are supposed to do. Things like cooking and keeping the house clean while leaving politics for the men. This is laughable my Oga, then you really do not know the woman you have married all of these years.

This is fire, this is strength that those words will not mute. I have watched her since she came into national limelight and her tussle with Fayose of Ekiti more than showed that this was an Amazon with the intellectual depth that would not be limited by religious shallow boundaries or an authoritarian matrimonial attempt at gagging. This is not just a political wife who would be satisfied with all those petty things First Ladies usually busy themselves with. This was an adept strategist with the Beaty and boldness to embark on any journey her well curated mind will lead her to. This to me is just the beginning of a journey that would outlive her husbands foray into politics.

I see an Aisha incursion on a very high moral platform with this kind of positions. Her fearlessness and courage plus the depth of her thinking would definitely not end after her husbands foray into power. She would most likely jump into the pool on a different progressive platform if she continues to be frustrated by the parochialism that surrounds her. I suspect this one will not be caged in the living room or any other room.

We await the movement of Aisha Buhari, meanwhile when will we get answers to her queries. Who are these people that the President does not know and how did they get to these positions. Can we find answers in the other room?

Written by Joseph Edgar



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