Nigeria’s president says his wife ‘belongs in the kitchen’ after she criticized his leadership

In the kitchen
In the kitchen
Image: Reuters/Axel Schmidt
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Nigeria’s president said his wife belongs in the kitchen, following an interview in which she openly questioned his command over the government.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday (Oct. 14) laughed off warnings from his wife Aisha, who said she may not support his re-election if he chooses to run again in 2019. The BBC Hausa language service had earlier aired the interview with Aisha, in which she gave a scathing indictment of the president’s leadership style.

“I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room,” Buhari, who is on a visit to Germany, said.

Standing next to him, the German chancellor Angela Merkel give him a short glare and then laughed, the Associated Press reported.

Buhari also espoused his political experience, reminding his wife of 27 years that he was elected president in his fourth effort. Buhari was a military dictator in the 1980s but was elected in 2015 on the hope of rooting out the corruption and government inefficiency that characterized the administration of his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

“So I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition because in the end, I have succeeded. It’s not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government,” Buhari said.

The president’s spokesperson tweeted that the comment was meant as a joke, that president Buhari respects the place of women in Nigerian society.