Nigeria’s president Buhari is not in control of his government, says his wife

“I may not have his back in 2019.”
“I may not have his back in 2019.”
Image: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde
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If his wife is to be believed, Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari may no longer be in charge of his government.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, a major broadcaster in northern Nigeria, Aisha Buhari claims the president “does not know 45 out of 50″ of the people he appointed, suggesting that the appointment of several members of his government were decided by a ”few people.” BBC aired the controversial interview today (Oct. 14) despite reportedly coming under pressure by the Nigerian presidency not to do so.

According to Mrs Buhari, the president’s lack of control over his government has resulted in concern among his supporters. “A lot of people have been coming on their own and also collectively to tell him that things are not going the way it should,” she told BBC. Mrs Buhari claims the views of “most” of the people that hold positions in the government are not aligned with the president’s. “They don’t know our manifesto, they don’t know what we campaigned for and they were not part of us.”

For the wife of a president, Aisha Buhari’s comments are unprecedented in Nigerian politics but she defended them saying she’s speaking out to draw attention to the issues so the president will set about working on his plans and “leave a legacy.”

When asked if the president will run for office in 2019, Mrs Buhari said while the president is yet to make a decision, she has made one of hers. “I have decided as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before,” she said. “I will never do it again.”