The wife of the president, Aisha Buhari has said she must be addressed as the first lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, henceforth.
She said this at a ceremony for wives of governors in Abuja Thursday.
Her sudden claim on ‘first lady’ title is in contradiction to her husband’s campaign promise not to recognise the office of the first lady which president Buhari had said was unconstitutional.
“The office of the first lady is not in the constitution, so there’s no official role for them,” Buhari had said in the buildup to the 2015 presidential election.
After her husband announced his reservations for the office, Aisha agreed that she would perform her role traditionally if Buhari scrapped the office.
“If the office of the first lady is constitutionally recognised, he will not tamper with it; but if it is not, that’s okay. For me, I will perform my duties and role as the wife of the president of Nigeria traditionally,” she had said during the inaugural meeting of the APC women presidential campaign in 2014.
But that was five years ago. Speaking at a ceremony for wives of governors in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari’s wife demanded to be addressed as the first lady, saying this should take immediate effect.
She said the title: “wife of the president”, had been causing confusion among governors’ wives and that had to be resolved.
“When my husband was elected newly, I personally chose to be called the wife of the president,” she said.
“But I realised that it was causing confusion from the state as to whether the wives of state governors are to be addressed as the first ladies or wives of the governors.
“So, forgive me for confusing you from the beginning, but now I choose to be called the first lady.”