Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has spoken for the first time in a long time, and the message is vaguely critical of the way her husband is running the country.
There have been questions about the whereabouts of Aisha who hasn’t been seen in public since September 2020.
Reports say the First Lady has taken refuge in Dubai, the UAE, away from the toxic atmosphere of Aso Rock. In early February, her office announced the passing of the First Lady’s personal photographer Mohammed Ovajimo who died after an “unknown illness”. The development raised fears over the safety of those around Aisha who is known to criticise her husband’s handling of the country.
Aisha has used the occasion of the International Women’s Day to break her silence. She signed off on her statement by reminding Nigerians that she remained the First Lady of the country (see screenshot of statement).
“Today marks the 2021 edition Of International Women’S Day,” the First Lady said in a social media post on Monday.
Aisha last tweeted on October 18, 2020. She also retweeted a post on November 25 of last year. In her latest tweet, Aisha did not mention her husband, Muhammadu Buhari, by name. She only referred to his government.
“The day offers yet another opportunity for humanity to review and reflect progress made on issues of women and girls,” Aisha said.
“This year’s theme — Women In Leadership: an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World — is a strong call to appreciate the efforts of women and girls in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has had a huge impact on women: disrupted education and careers, lost jobs, descent into poverty and proliferation Of domestic violence. Many have also died or suffered due to lack of access to basic information on the pandemic.
“It is, therefore, important not just to continue to spread the message of the COVID-19 protocol but to also remember and support those who have been affected negatively by the pandemic in one way or another.
“Away from COVID-19, women and girls in Nigeria have continued to suffer abductions both in the hands of insurgents and bandits. As a mother, I share the sorrow and agony of the victims and their families. I am also not unaware of the impact that these abductions could have in reverting many successes we have hitherto achieved, especially in terms of girl-child education and early marriages.
“I call on all stakeholders to continue to exert their different levels of influence and bring these abductions to an end and to assure us that girls are safe anywhere they may find themselves.
“My best wishes to women all over the world for their resilience, hard work and commitment to the progress of humanity.
“Happy International Women’s Day,” she said.