Patience Jonathan Said Women Would Return To The Kitchen Under Buhari — Was She Right?

One would have thought it ironic that President Muhammadu Buhari would joke about his wife belonging to his kitchen while standing next to the Angela Merkel, the female German chancellor.

Buhari made this statement while responding to a question about the interview granted by Aisha Buhari, his wife, to BBC Hausa, during which she said she would not campaign for him in 2019 if things did not change in his government.


At the start of the 2015 presidential election campaign, Aisha Buhari was absent on the political scene until her husband introduced her at a rally in Ogun state.

After their victory, she described her husband as a “gender-sensitive man with many daughters”, saying she was absent at the campaigns because she had to focus on the home.

In the same vein, she accepted that she would perform her duties traditionally as the wife of the president if her husband scrapped the office of the first lady and also expressed trust in her husband’s ability to make Nigeria great again.

During a visit to Kubwa general hospital in 2015, Aisha Buhari pleaded with Nigerian men not to abandon their wives in times of trouble.


Not taking the women in the Nigerian senate and house of representatives into consideration, President Muhammadu Buhari has made a total of 11 female appointments in his government.

This is far less than the 35 percent stipulation of the 2006 national gender policy.

These 11 appointments are six female ministers, Amina Zakari as acting INEC chairperson, Abike Dabiri and Maryam Masha as special advisers, Hadiza Bala Usman and Esther Nnamdi Ogbue as directors of Nigeria Ports Authority and Petroleum Products and Marketing company respectively.

Citizens, especially females, have been clamouring for a balance in the appointments. Most notable is Aisha Buhari who “seeks fair representation”.

“This is not fair; we are not asking for equal representation but fair representation in governance,” she said.


While campaigning for her husband’s re-election in 2015, Patience Jonathan, wife of the immediate past president, told supporters that Buhari would sideline women.

“During Buhari’s era, he said women should be confined to the kitchen but under Jonathan’s administration, women have been liberated to contribute to national development,” she said in Enugu.

“If you vote for Buhari again, you will return to the kitchen. It is not our portion to go back to the kitchen. We have women that are capable. We can contribute our quota to the development of Nigeria.”

Buhari’s image maker may have already dismissed his kitchen comment as a joke, but what if he meant it and he was only fulfilling Patience Jonathan’s prophecy?

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