Mrs Aisha Buhari, the wife of the President, last Thursday, revealed a shocker. She announced that, henceforth, she wanted to be addressed as the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This happened at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abujathe during the presentation of awards to the former and current wives of Governors of the 36 states.
In her words: “When my husband was elected newly I personally chose to be called the wife of the President. But, I realised that it causes confusion from the state as to whether the wives of state governors are to be addressed as the first ladies or wives of the governors. So, forgive me for confusing you from the beginning, but now I chose to be called the first lady.”
Has this shift changed the essential Aisha? Below is a cover story TheNEWS wrote on her 0n 29 June 2015. It is entitled:
By EROMOSELE EBHOMELE
Delectable. That may not even be the best description for pretty Aisha, the 44-year old mother of five and wife of Muhammadu Buhari, the retired Army General, who, through democratic means, returned to the seat of power as the Nigerian President on 29 May, 30 years after he first led the country between 31 December 1983 and 27 August 1985. She may just be considered the type of woman any man would want to push him to the pick of any aspiration. And it worked for her husband.
Buhari, born on 17 December, 1942, first contested in 2003 under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, with the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, a former Senate President, as his running mate. He lost the election to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, just like other candidates. A resilient Buhari again contested the 2007 presidential election with late Chief Ume-Ezeoke, a lawyer from Amichi Nnewi, Anambra State as running mate. He lost to the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Yet he did not give up.
In 2011, Buhari formed the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. Picking Tunde Bakare, the fiery Lagos-based lawyer and General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly. In that election, he had a tough time against Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past President. He lost the election, this time, promising to return home. Jonathan is believed to have won the 2011 election out of sympathy from Nigerians over the way the illness of the late Umar Yar’Adua was handled by an alleged cabal that held the nation by its jugular.
As he struggled these previous three times, Buhari was always seen alone. Not even a family member accompanied him in the political sojourn. This kept many guessing, even though wrongly. But Aisha, recently explained that while her husband was constantly pursuing his ambition of leading Nigeria from the current quagmire, she was underground taking care of the home. Many now know that she was not only taking care of the home, she was also, with open arms, welcoming back her husband each time his electoral defeat came. Like every virtuous woman, Aishat is believed to have been part of the encouragement for her husband, pulling him above every frustration that often came with every electoral loss.
While she did that, some Nigerians, especially those averse to Buhari’s ambition often claimed that the President kept his wife in purdah, an Islamic term for women who are kept out of the public by their husbands for religious reasons. In fact, since Buhari is a staunch Muslim, who hardly smiled, many of these people called him an extremist who would never have a soft heart, like the average Nigerian man, for women in his life. Some wondered how his wife, who they did not know, could have endured him all these while!
In Kano, Aisha, like a political strategist, simply latched on this miscalculation to ask the electorate to turn their faces away from the PDP and its candidate and instead concentrate on voting for Buhari. “With General Buhari in power, the spate of kidnapping and reckless assassination of innocent people will be history in Nigeria. With B