Living in a patriarchal society, we may be tempted to believe that all the arguments that borders around the comments of the president’s wife and the subsequent reply by Mr. President, are due to gender stereotyping/bias, as it relates to “the woman” in our society and particularly, the political process and democratic governance.
Let me differ from this proposition in regard to the case of Mr. President and his wife. We have had and still have, countless women, who are involved in our political process/ democratic governance. Others heading top political positions, making and taking critical decisions for governments in Nigeria.
These women were not castigated because they took a political stance or made some statement that is seen as anti-government or anti- president/ Buhari. And more so, because they are “women”. I honestly think why Aisha’s case is different is because she is the wife of “the president”. More narrowly, “Buhari”.
Now, we must understand that the president (Buhari) is deified by some persons in this country. So, I would not want to connect this to culture or religion, gender stereotyping/bais or whatever other perceptions we may have. We cannot suddenly claim now that we love Mr. President more than his wife loved him.
As much as we will want to link democratic governance with religion and culture, I also think we should learn to draw the line on where and how they should never be mixed together. Democratic governance is more of a civic duty. A responsibility expected of all citizens to participate in decision making process.
What Mrs. Buhari did was a civic duty/responsibility. Now, these people wanted her banished, divorced or arrested for expressing her opinion about what she perceived as political ills of Buhari’s administration.
They even went further to label her as threat to Mr. President and alleged she may be used by the opposition against the President? To kill him or make him fails? I wondered how some people can be so myopic and mentally irregular and unbalanced.
Regardless of how we will want to perceive the situation; whether religiously, culturally, socially, politically or on gender bias, Mrs. Buhari has every right as a Nigerian to speak her views. Hushing her up and saying she belongs to some places other than the political arena is unacceptable.
The response of Mr. President, in far away Germany, that his wife does not belong to any political party, but his kitchen, his room and the other rooms are quite hilarious. The joke was quite obvious, because that expression was made before a female world leader and the international press.
Mrs. Aisha Buhari is a virtuous woman who gave her husband all the support to succeed. She campaigned and mobilized women to vote for her husband. She stood with him in all his campaign trips/grounds. She was well involved in making his dream to be the president comes true.
When she became convinced that some actions and inactions of her husband as president could be a dent to his integrity and damaging to the Party and national interest, she was bold enough to point out these errors and some persons said she has no right to speak? Because she is a woman? A Muslim women? The wife of Mr. President?
I think what confers on her the absolute right to speak, is because she is the wife of Mr. President. She said what she said not because she hates her husband. No! She said what she said because she truly loves him and love Nigeria and Nigerians.
Mrs. Aisha Buhari is truly a virtuous woman.
Adama is from the University of Jos