Nigeria is a strange place to live. Sexism is the order of the day. It has become so ingrained into our lives that even the most blatant cases of this illness go undiagnosed. The battle to dismantle the patriarchy is one that almost every country is currently fighting, and up until this week, I was certain Nigeria was making baby steps. I was wrong.
This week our first lady Aisha Buhari gave a press conference where she addressed the state of the country. In particular, she spoke about the way the president and his cabinet is running. She said that the presidency has been hijacked, and that most of the appointed officials were unknown by the president. She went on to say that she may not be backing the president in the 2019 election.
I found her speech vey strange because it isn’t every day that a first lady comes out to condemn the presidency that she is essentially a part of. Some would call her bold, as she is speaking the mind of a lot of the people, but I personally say strange. Her speech made me wonder, ‘If she is aware that Nigeria is in this shit show, why isn’t she taking any action.’ She holds a very powerful position in our country, and her words and actions are taken very seriously by a lot of people, including the president. Or so I thought.
While all this drama was unfolding, our dear president decided to clap back in old man fashion by replying, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”
That makes sense now! She must have already said something but he didn’t think it was relevant because it was not her place. Take note, President Buhari made his comments at a press conference while standing next to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
I find his comments very insulting and degrading, and do not reflect him to be a president of the people. He has already been accused of tribalism and sexism in his appointment of ministers and other top officials, and his commentary shows him to be someone who does not respect the value of women in the workplace. His comments are wrong and should not be taken as a joke because he is supposed to be representing Nigeria. If our own president reduces the value of women to the kitchen and bedroom activities, he is making it commonplace for other Nigerians to do so as well. I joked with my mother today that his public relations personnel must be working overtime on damage control, but knowing the Nigeria that we live in, chances are that people will let it pass as a joke. IT IS NOT OK!
President Buhari, from your words to your actions, people are watching you, and if you can say such mean and degrading things about our country’s first lady in public, I don’t even want to imagine what goes on in private.
Titus 2:7-‘In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.’