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Aisha Buhari Why President-elect’s wife will not be Nigeria’s next First Lady

The term “First lady” is an unofficial title for a President’s wife but in Nigeria, it has received near-official status due to the fact that funding and staff have been allocated to First Ladies since independence.

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Mrs Aisha Buhari play

Mrs Aisha Buhari

(George Okoro)

Aisha Buhari might not be Nigeria’s next First Lady, at least not in the modern sense of the word.

The term “First Lady” is an unofficial title for a President’s wife but in Nigeria, it has received near-official status due to the fact that funding and staff have been allocated to First Ladies since independence.

However, the Nigerian Constitution does not in any way provide for the “office” of the First Lady.

This was the reason given by President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari when he said during an interview with Daily Trust in December 2014 that there would be no such office during his regime.

“The [office of] First Lady is not in the constitution, so there’s no official role for them,” Buhari said.

Mrs Buhari also expressed support for her husband’s position while speaking during the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Women Campaign Council in January.

“When my husband is elected as the president of this country, he will rule the country within the rule of law based on the constitution of the country,” she said.

“If the office of the first lady is constitutionally recognized, he will not tamper with it but if it is not, that’s okay. For me I will perform my duties and role as the wife of the President of Nigeria traditionally,” she added.

Muhammadu Buhari emerged winner of Nigeria’s Presidential elections on Tuesday, March 31.

He will be sworn in on Friday, May 29, 2015.

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