It is natural for the wives of past government leaders, presidents for instance, to disagree with one another. Really, it is the most natural thing. Why laugh and rib your life with the woman whose husband sent yours packing out of the presidential villa leaving your family as unemployed as imaginable? No! A clever former anything knows to hide behind long silences and sponsored jabs at the victor. And Nigerians are very, very clever folks.
As with most everything else, Nigerians are notorious for breaking tradition, and in this game of formers and presents, the habit holds. The recent evidence of this was the meeting of former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan with current First Lady, Dr. Aisha Bihari at the House of Power in Aso Rock. A cordial and laudable meet, if ever there was one.
Being the one astride the proverbial power horse, Dr. Aisha Buhari played the guest role rather well, accommodating Dame Patience Jonathan for a few hours, chaperoning the latter as they enjoyed the sights and memorabilia of Aso Villa, and generally had a good time.
According to the post on Twitter by Dr. Aisha Buhari, the duo discussed matters relating to the role and participation of women in politics and governance, girl-child education and other issues that have a bearing on the place of the woman in the Nigerian family unit, community, and nation at large. Dame Patience is also said to have shared their personal experiences with Dr. Aisha Buhari, doubtlessly intending to arm her with her own arsenal of conversance with people, policies and power.
At the end of the day, both women had had a good time, relieved a nerve or two, and firmly – if unwittingly – dispersed rumours of a cold war between them. Dr. Aisha Buhari even stated that she looks forward to more of such visitations.
Recall that the spark was publicly kindled after the memorial event held in honour of the late Maryam Babangida, wife and First Lady of military President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida; an event that had more than seven former First Ladies in attendance.
The coming months might therefore bear witness to more visitations from former First Ladies (former First Lady, Mrs. Turai Yar’Adua visited a few days ago too), a welcome development indeed.