Saturday 24 February 2018

Nigeria's First Lady says she may not back husband's re-election

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari's wife has expressed concerns
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari's wife has expressed concerns

Nigeria's First Lady has openly questioned whether her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, is in control of his government and said she may not campaign for him if he seeks a second term.

Aisha Buhari said her husband did not know many top government appointees, and she accused them of not sharing the vision of his All Progressives Congress party. She did not name names.

The president, a former military dictator, was elected in 2015. He has not said whether he will run again in 2019.

"He is yet to tell me, but 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. I will never do it again," Mrs Buhari said.

President Buhari campaigned promising to crack down on corruption and turn the tide against the Boko Haram insurgency.

His government on Thursday announced the first negotiated release of some of the almost 300 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014.

However, Nigeria's north east region faces a famine that threatens to kill tens of thousands of children after Boko Haram disrupted the region's transportation and farming.

Some areas remain dangerous and inaccessible.

Nigeria has also fallen into recession and lost its position as Africa's biggest oil producer - as militants attacked pipelines in the south.

Mrs Buhari's criticism of her husband's administration focused on political appointments.

"The president does not know 45 out of 50, for example, of the people he appointed - and I don't know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years," she said.

She said she had expressed her concerns to her husband and claimed they were shared by "a lot of people".


Press Association

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