Buhari replies his wife: Nigeria is under patriarchy, as Mr President says Aisha belongs to his kitchen

The President's reaction to the First Lady's statement makes a mockery of feminism and the equal rights struggle in this country.

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Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari arrives with his wife Aisha, before taking oath of office in Abuja, on May 29, 2015 play

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari arrives with his wife Aisha, before taking oath of office in Abuja, on May 29, 2015

(AFP/File)
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President Muhammadu Buhari has probably made the most sexist statement by a democratically elected ruler in recent times.

Donald Trump's "grab her by the p*ssy" statement was shocking but expected. The Republican candidate is vulgar- we all know that but President Buhari's reply that his wife belongs in the kitchen, the living room and his bedroom is downright disappointing and saddening.

Today, Friday, October 14, 2016, in faraway Germany the President of the most populous black nation in the world replied his wife's comments that she might not vote for her husband if he decides to run for the second term.

The President fired back at his wife in Germany when he told reporters "I don't know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen, and my living room and the other room."

It was reported that the German chancellor Angela Merkel gave our President a glare and laughed. Merkel must have been sorry for Nigerians that's why she laughed. It must have been a laugh of pity.

President Muhammadu Buhari meets with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on October 14, 2016. play

President Muhammadu Buhari meets with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on October 14, 2016.

(Twitter)

 

In 2016, how can the President of a country define his wife's role in his life to domestic chores and sexual duties? When you think you have heard it all in Nigeria someone makes a baffling statement.

This is an outright sexist statement from the President of Nigeria. The retired General rode on the wave of change to Aso Rock, but the 73-year-old leader is still stuck in the medieval times which relegated women to the background and define them by traditional sexist roles.

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari arrives with his wife Aisha, before taking oath of office in Abuja, on May 29, 2015 play

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari arrives with his wife Aisha, before taking oath of office in Abuja, on May 29, 2015

(AFP/File)

 

The First Lady might have been wrong to criticize her husband in public, but the President did not have to dismiss her by saying she is a domestic servant.

At a time when millions of Nigerian women are seriously challenging the system and breaking away from the shackles of sexism and patriarchy, our President has made a statement that mocks the feminist movement in Nigeria. If the First Lady is defined by three rooms in her husband's home, how should other Nigerian women be defined?

ALSO READ: Nigerians react to President saying his wife belongs in the kitchen

Let's be real about this. Nigeria is an extremely sexist nation. Some men treat their wives as they please. An average man in Nigeria sees his wife as a piece of furniture instead of his equal and partner. Once you pay the bride price you can do anything to your wife.

A woman's dreams and ambitions are to be relegated while her husband rules over the household as he pleases. Millions of Nigerian women have had their voices stifled because of tradition. Their dreams of being someone in life have been crushed because they must be in the kitchen and cook for the family.

We have seen first ladies around the world lead the charge for equal rights for women in their countries. Who will help Nigerian women? I would have said our First Lady but she is stuck in the "other room." This might be not the reality in Aso Rock but after what the President has said the First Lady's role as the mother of the nation has been undermined.

A visibly angry US First Lady Michelle Obama has delivered a fiery takedown of Donald Trump and his "disgraceful" behavior play

A visibly angry US First Lady Michelle Obama has delivered a fiery takedown of Donald Trump and his "disgraceful" behavior

(AFP/File)

 

The Presidency might react hours or days from now and say it was a joke, but Presidents cannot afford expensive jokes. His statement has more or less damaged his reputation with women who are looking up to the government to set the tone on how women should be treated.

You can judge a country on how it treats not only its young people but also its girls and women. If the First Lady is relegated to functions in the kitchen, the living room and the other room, what can we say about Nigeria?

This is a nation under patriarchy.

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