By Crusoe Osagie
President Muhammadu Buhari is doubling down on his reaction to his wife’s BBC interview last week, insisting that Aisha Buhari’s place is in the kitchen and to look after him. He was also of the opinion that she should steer clear of politics.
Despite the global outcry over his remarks last Friday and the attempt by the presidency to downplay them, saying he was joking, the president tenaciously held on to his earlier stance when he was asked before his departure from Germany by a reporter from the German Radio, Deutsche Welle, to clarify his statement.
Responding, the president maintained that his wife’s place was in the kitchen and to look after him.
He said: “I am sure you have a house. You know where your kitchen is. You know where your living room is. And I believe your wife looks after all that even if she’s working.”
When his interviewer pushed the president by asking, “That is your wife’s function?” Buhari said: “Yes, to look after me.”
The interviewer further asked if Buhari would rather his wife stayed out of politics, he said: “I think so.”
The president’s position contradicted that of his media aide, Garba Shehu, who on Friday tried to play down the remarks, stating that Buhari was only joking.
“My friends, can’t a leader have a sense of humour anymore? Mr. President laughed before that statement was made,” Shehu said as the comments drew worldwide condemnation after Buhari had said his wife belonged to his kitchen, his living room and the “other room”.
Buhari was responding to an interview granted by his wife to the BBC, in which she alleged that his government had been hijacked by persons who were neither part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at its formative stage, nor did fight for her husband’s victory at the polls.
Mrs. Buhari who was expressing the frustrations of several party loyalists, also said she might not back her husband’s re-election bid in 2019 except he shakes up his cabinet.