Despite the criticisms that have trailed his comment that his wife, Aisha, belongs to the kitchen and “the other room,” President Muhammadu Buhari says he stands by his earlier comment.
He insisted that his wife’s duty was to take care of him, hence, she should stay away from politics.
Buhari said this in an interview he granted Deutsche-Welle’s Phil Gayle shortly before he left Berlin, Germany on Saturday.
The reporter had asked the President to clarify what he meant by his earlier comment while reacting to an interview his wife granted the Hausa Service of the BBC in which she alleged that her husband’s government had been hijacked.
The following discussion ensued between the President and the reporter:
Recently your wife criticised your choices for top jobs, and you responded by saying “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room.” What did you mean by that, sir?
I am sure you have a house. … You know where your kitchen is, you know where your living room is, and I believe your wife looks after all of that, even if she is working.
That is your wife’s function?
Yes, to look after me.
And she should stay out of politics?
I think so.
Buhari’s insistence contradicted the position of his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who said on Friday that the President was only joking with his remarks on his wife while addressing a joint press conference with Angela Merkel of Germany.
On the recent release of the 21 Chibok girls, Buhari said the Federal Government had always preferred to talk to bona fide Boko Haram leaders about the release of the girls.
He said his position had always been that government must have a credible person or persons that would intervene, preferably the United Nations or international NGOs.
“I think that the Federal Government of Nigeria team insisted on a better type of arrangement and we secured 21 out of about 220 of the Chibok girls,” he said.
When asked if the government released Boko Haram commanders in exchange for the released girls, Buhari said he did not have the details of the deal yet.
He explained that the girls were released shortly before he left Nigeria for Germany on Thursday, hence he had not received full briefing on the deal since the issue should not be something to be discussed on the telephone.
Buhari said he hoped to get the full briefing on his return to Nigeria. Buhari returned to the country on Saturday.
When asked if he knew what had happened to the remaining girls, the President said his administration was working hard to find out.
“That is what we are trying to find (out) now. The more we get, the more information we get about the balance, whether they are dead or alive … and where they are.
“The important thing about really insisting on the go-betweens – especially NGOs, the United Nations – is the credibility of persons that will be talking to the Federal Government,” he said.
When asked for the purpose of his three-day official visit to Germany, Buhari said his aim was to woo more investors from the country.
He said, “We want a lot. We want German investors. As you know, there are about 100 German companies in Nigeria, and German investors have earned a lot of respect from Nigeria because of the quality of the manufactured goods they produce, especially machinery. … Nigerians work very hard to learn as much as possible, and attract German investment in manufacturing, especially.”
Buhari promised to look at the Gender Equality Act as part of the nation’s law.
When asked if he believed that gender equality was a good thing, the President said, “It is a good thing to the extent that it is accepted culturally throughout the country.”