Sunday, October 16th, 2016

“She belongs to kitchen” – Nigerian president sparks controversy over his remark on his wife

Amal Das | October 16, 2016 3:09 pm Print
Nigeria's supreme leader Muhammadu Buhari has brushed the criticism of his wife aside, saying "she belongs to his kitchen"

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has created a huge ruckus for his misogynistic remarks on his wife. Responding to his wife, Aisha Buhari’s criticism that she would not support him at the next election unless he introduced serious changes in his cabinet, he said, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other rooms.”

He was speaking at a press conference in Germany along with the Chancellor Angela Merkel. Ms Merkel reported to have glared at him and let out a short laugh.

The controversial statement went viral in social media circles sparking scathing criticism.

Human Right’s Watch’s Africa Division director Daniel Bekele said President Buhari’s statement “is deeply offensive by objectifying his own wife as a kitchen tool”.

“A strong response is urgently needed from Africa and beyond to condemn President Buhari’s statement objectifying women. He should urgently apologise for his words and act in a manner that demonstrates his apology is genuine,” he wrote in Rights Watch official site.

Nigeria’s presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the President’s comments should not be taken seriously.

“My friends, can’t a leader get a sense of humour anymore? Mr President laughed before that statement was made” He tweeted. Mr Sheshu added that the President was throwing a banter and respected the position of women in the society.

Aisha Buhari had earlier told BBC her husband needed to  remove ministers who did not conform to the ideals of their All Progressive Congress (APC) Party.

“If things continue like this , I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again.” She told BBC.

Mr Buhari was elected last year campaigning heavily to fight Islamic extremism and corruption. He is facing so many challenges including Nigeria’s first recession in over a decade and threats by Islamist militant group Boko Haram.