Vice Presideent Yemi Osinbajo has described the views of the first Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari since her husband became President, as forthright, crisp, truthful “and every once in a while, controversial.”
Speaking today, April 8, at the official launching of a biography of the First Lady in Abuja, Professor Osinbajo said: “she has established an ongoing conversation with the Nigerian people on the issues that concern them most, issues that concern us the most: good governance, security, putting food on the table, education of our children, prompt payment of pensions to army veterans, and drug abuse, violation and victimization of women.
“She airs her own personal struggles, her annoyance, in a manner probably unprecedented in the role of First Lady anywhere.
“There is no question that Aisha Buhari is different; her difference has been empowering for the Nigerian people and there is never any question that her comments come from a good place, a place of genuine love and respect for the Nigerian people and our several concerns.”
According to the Vice President, the book is a “detailed and sensitive chronicle of her childhood years and her growth as a woman, wife and mother.
“It “it also highlights her evolution from a silent supporter of her husband’s political adventures to an active mobilizer and campaigner that played a major role in selling him to the Nigerian electorate. Then we also read in the book, how as First Lady, she founded the “Future Assured” initiative, promoting the welfare of women, youth and children, driven by the Aisha Buhari Foundation.”
Te Vice President highlighted the influence of the First Lady’s role as a doting wife, mother and advocate for girl child education, as well as the impact of her Future Assured initiative, which he stated was inspired by the First Lady’s “conviction that empowering women is a direct way of promoting the economic and social progress of a nation.
“We are also given a good picture of this steadfast advocate of women’s health issues, who has championed improved access to healthcare for women, especially in respect of maternal health with the aim of reducing maternal mortality, particularly in rural communities.
“We understand the roots of her relentless pursuit in these past years of the empowerment of women, especially through education, the need for young girls to get primary and secondary school education before getting married. We understand her stand that no girl should get married before the age of 17. It is from her own experience being married at 19, and her single-mindedness and determination in ensuring that her educational pursuits were not aborted by her obligations as a wife and mother.
“We also get a glimpse of the role she considers primary, being “Mum-in-Chief” to Halima, Yusuf, Zara, Hanan, Chuchu, and now many grandchildren. Her personal attention to the lives of each of her children, and her fierce protection of their privacy and individuality is a lesson in bringing up children under the scrutiny of a sometimes mischievous social media.”
Vice President Osinbajo commended the author, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs, Dr. Hajo Sani, for writing “a most engaging book on an incredibly fascinating person, Her Excellency Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s First Lady, and seeking “to document the practical work she has done in the past five years.
“It is unlikely that any First Lady in Nigeria’s history has in a few years captured the imagination of Nigerians as profoundly as Aisha Buhari. She is, of course, the first First Lady to be on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, getting her unfiltered views across to the Nigerian people and she’s probably the first to receive in real-time, the opinions of Nigerians on her views.”
According to the VP, the book on the First Lady has etched her name and the impact of her good works on the sands of history.
“Perhaps because of the undefined nature of their positions, it was (former US First Lady) Michelle Obama who famously said that there is no handbook on how to be a First Lady, and the sometimes uncertain impact of their roles on the affairs of state, First Ladies quickly fade into obscurity when the curtains of time are drawn on the tenure of the administration of their husbands.
“But it is unlikely that Aisha Buhari would ever be forgotten and even if there was a chance of this happening, this well written attempt to document her life, times and contributions as First Lady to national life through the causes that she has taken up, removes that possibility.”