Dr Hajo Sani, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs (Office of the First Lady), has given an insight into why the wife of the President, Aisha, did not react publicly to “the other room” comment made by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2016.
Sani said the outspoken Aisha refused to react to the statement because she understood her husband’s mindset and sense of humour.
She disclosed this in the biography of the wife of the President titled, ‘Aisha Buhari: Being different,’ which was presented to the public at an elaborate event held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja on Thursday.
The President had a joint press conference with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, during a state visit to Germany in October 2016 and was asked to respond to an interview Aisha granted the BBC in which she claimed her husband did not know most of the top government officials he appointed, saying some people have hijacked the government.
She (Aisha) had also threatened not to campaign for the President’s re-election in 2019 if he continued that way.
But when asked to react to his wife’s position, Buhari had laughed it off and said, “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 comment attracted further criticisms to the President, with many holding the position that the statement was against women.
Sani added that the controversy did not discourage the President’s wife from further intervening on national issues.
She wrote, “Many will not forget the ‘other room’ metaphor which occurred during President Buhari’s visit to Germany, where he responded to a question at a joint press briefing with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
“In a lighter mood, he laughed off a question about his reaction to a BBC interview with his wife by saying, ‘I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen, and my living room and the other room.’
“His remarks immediately went viral on social media, with some people calling for and expecting a rebuttal from Aisha. Meanwhile, she never contested the statement or queried her husband. This is vintage Aisha Buhari.
“Married for decades, she understands her husband’s mindset and sense of humour, a side of him that the public may not see or appreciate.”