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Nigeria

Buhari's 'wife belongs in the kitchen' comment stirs controversy

Nigerians have taken to social media to pour out their anger and make fun of their leader. While on a state visit to Berlin, Buhari said his wife belongs in the kitchen, living room and the other room.

An number of Facebook users on DW's Hausa Facebook page who viewed the DW interview where President Muhammadu Buhari made the sexist remarks said they were alarmed by their president's view of his wife.

"Both in Islam and modern thinking, it is not like the woman's position is in the kitchen only. But this Mumu (stupid person) is not ashamed to tell the world that his wife belongs to his kitchen in this 21st century... Being only half literate is a disease," Alaji from Kano commented.

Another user, Abubakar from Kano said:"Now that Aisha Buhari makes noise we refuse to accept her words or call the security agents like DSS (Department of State Services) to investigate the matter. We must ask the question, is it true the presidency has been hijacked or not? That is what the citizens need to know. Therefore, we need the DSS to investigate the matter for helping the nation and Mr. President."

The hashtag #Theotherroom has been trending on Twitter for the past few days after President Buhari's statement. The 74-year-old leader was responding to a question from a German reporter following an interview that his wife Aisha gave to the BBC Hausa service.

Aisha had warned that she would not support her husband's reelection bid if he does not take full control of the government. She accused her husband of not knowing most of the people who have been appointed into positions of power.

It is still unclear whether Buhari was joking or not when he made the controversial statement while standing next to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. She is currently perceived as the most powerful woman on earth. 

The Vanguard, a Nigerian daily on Monday reported that a number of members from the House of Representatives have urged President Buhari to listen to his wife's advice. The lawmakers praised Aisha for speaking out against a cabal which has allegedly 'hijacked' the president.

Veteran Nollywood actress Hilda Dokubo was quoted by the Premium Times saying: "I do not belong to the kitchen; I go to the kitchen to fix food for my family and myself. We eat there sometimes but I do not belong there," Dokubo said in a short video posted on Instagram.

"I do not belong to the bedroom either, I sleep there, it is my rest place, my things are there but I don't belong there. I do not belong to the sitting room, it is a lounging place, I rest there, I watch television."

Dokubo also addressed the issue of 'the other room' which Buhari said his wife belongs to. "I do not belong to the other room; because I do not know where the other room is in my house except that this other room sounds like the toilet. I can not belong to the toilet. I am a woman I deserve my rights to be a human being and to be respected," Dokubo said.

Garba Shehu, Buhari's spokesperson had sought to downplay the sexist comments as a joke, but the president has stuck to his word, telling DW reporter Phil Gayle that the first lady should stay out of politics.

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