Presidency Reacts To Criticism Of Buhari’s Comment On Wife


Following the barrels of criticism and condemnation that greeted the comments of president Muhammadu Buhari that his wife, Aisha, belongs to his kitchen, the presidency has clarified that Buhari was merely “throwing a banter.”

Responding to his wife’s comments during an interview with the BBC, which suggests that Buhari was not fully in charge of his government, the President said: “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”

The comment was made during a joint press conference with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and immediately, the social and conventional media went agog with clips of the president’s remarks.

But Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, took to his social media handles to defend his principal, saying Buhari was only joking

“My friends, can’t a leader get a sense (of) humour anymore? Mr. President laughed before that statement was made,” Shehu twitted.

“He was obviously throwing a banter.

“Mr. President respects the place of women in our society. He believes in the abilities of women,” he insisted.

The presidential spokesman added that “Politics sometimes should be spiced with humour.”

“Those of us around him know there is never a dull moment with him.

“One of Nigeria’s most sensitive office today is headed by a woman, Mrs. (Kemi) Adeosun. This is an evidence of the confidence he reposes on women,” he said.

His explanations however seem to have done very little to water down the criticisms that continue to pour in from every quarter with regards to the  president’s comments.


Not a few Political analysts, social commentators, gender equality advocates, some media outlets and civil society groups, are of the opinion that the president’s remarks were ‘sexist’ and ‘misogynistic’.

Kayode Ogundamisi, a social commentator and activist and a core Buhari supporter said the president’s views were not compatible with modern ideals and is unacceptable, even as a joke.

He said such comments was “not the kind of joke that the President of any country should be engaged in.”

“The president should know that the world has indeed moved on and that women play a very key role in our society,” he said.

Ogundamisi even demanded an apology from the president for his comments, which he said constituted an embarrassment to Nigeria.




    Even Political opponents also grabbed the opportunity to score a few political points.

    Ben Murray-Bruce, a Senator and businessman from Bayelsa state, posted a picture of himself and his wife on his social media account and wrote: “This is my beloved wife Evelyn. She belongs by my side because beside (not behind) great men are even greater women!”

    Also, former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, posted a picture and wrote: “This is me kissing my wife. She belongs by my side. I enter the kitchen to cook for her. She has added value to me!”

    From all indications, It is certain that the controversy whipped up – first by the First lady’s harsh criticism of her husband, and then Buhari’s response – will not die down in a hurry, even as Nigeria continues to grapple with economic and security challenges.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


    1. Who is our role model? Damn!!! It is a pity. Did any African leader know who Nelson Mandela was? With all he shared with every one of us, no African leader has aspired to emulate him and all he stood for. How can one in such a position make such a comment? One cannot even think it. Very poor!!! 0.000125/100.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement


    - Advertisement