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Okorocha 'Buhari's comment about wife taken out of context' - Gov says

The Governor said the President's intention about his comment has been misrepresented by Nigerians.

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Imo State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, has urged Nigerians to stop criticising President Muhammadu Buhari over the comment he made about his wife, Aisha.

Okorocha said the President's controversial response to his wife's BBC interview was taken out of context.

In the interview, the First Lady said unless Buhari shakes up his government, she would not support his re-election in 2019.

She revealed that her husband does not know a large number of the people he appointed to top positions, noting that a "few people" are behind the presidential appointments.

Buhari, however, played down his wife's claims, saying she should stay out of politics.

"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 President had said.

Many, especially women and women’s rights groups have criticised the President for reducing women to cooks and housemaids.

Okorocha, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, October 16, said Nigerians need to be cautious in their reactions to the President's statement.

He said: "I was there when the president made the comment and both the wife’s interview and the President’s comment were taken out of context.

"I can understand why international community speak on this matter. It is because of woman’s rights and all that that is going on right now in the whole world.

"I tend to believe that Nigerians will understand the situation better than any other persons in the world.

"I do not think that those were the intentions, as being described by all and sundry and those condemning the act.

"If there is a clarion call to say ‘Mr President look into your cabinet and bring in more people’, there is nothing wrong for Mr President to take note of the comment by people.

"That is not really the situation that should create a big hullabaloo,"

However, Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had last Friday trivialised Buhari's statement, saying it a mere joke.

"My friends, can't a leader get a sense humour anymore? Mr President laughed before that statement was made," Shehu wrote on Twitter.

ALSO READ: Okorocha refutes Buhari’s alleged medical trip to Germany

But in what seems to mean he was not joking about his statement, the President reaffirmed his stance in a later  interview he granted Phil Gayle of Deutsche-Welle shortly before he left Berlin, Germany on Saturday.

When asked to explain what he meant in his earlier statement about his wife, Buhari 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 of that, even if she is working."

"That is your wife’s function"? The journalist asked.

The President responded: "Yes, to look after me."



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