Aisha Buhari: Cham­pi­oning cause to pro­tect women

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

In a pre-elec­tion recorded in­ter­view, the wife of the cur­rent pres­i­dent of Nige­ria, Aisha Buhari re­sponded to a ques­tion on her pre­ferred causes upon as­sump­tion of “of­fice”: “I leave that for the peo­ple to choose,” a truly self­less Aisha had said.

While cham­pi­oning causes by re­spectable Nige­ri­ans and in­deed peo­ple of the world need not be on per­son­al­ized based, i.e. se­lected by eth­nic­ity, sex or re­li­gion, per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence/af­flic­tion, etc; per­haps no one has ever been bet­ter poised, equipped and skilled to pow­er­fully trans­form the fate of women and fam­i­lies in Nige­ria than in­tegri­typres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s adept wife, Aisha.

Providence has it that Aisha is named af­ter the youngest wife of Is­lam’s prophet Mo­hammed (p), who is re­mem­bered for not only be­ing one of those who con­trib­uted whole­somely to the nar­rated records upon which Is­lam is based to­day, but also for be­ing a vo­cif­er­ous woman leader and what one might to­day call a rights ad­vo­cate.

Nige­rian women suf­fer un­told hard­ship. While re­ported do­mes­tic vi­o­lence lev­els are one in three, it is rec­og­nized that the true level is much higher and not ob­tained in sur­veys “be­cause of stigma­ti­za­tion.” Our women are largely treated like sec­ond class or third class cit­i­zens. Mar­ried and di­vorced at will with­out con­sid­er­a­tion. In south­ern parts of Nige­ria, straight talk, we even have them rou­tinely killed af­ter be­ing re­quired to serve like slaves.

In the north, women are abused, mar­ried-off young with­out their con­sent, dis­carded with their chil­dren by their hus­bands while still vul­ner­a­ble teens and left no so­cial re­prieve than to beg and wal­low in poverty.

Alimony is not duly ob­served nor is there any thought for child sup­port where there are is­sues. As a re­sult chil­dren af­fected are dis­carded into the Al­ma­jiri lifestyle. [Don’t for­get to #StandForAl­ma­jiri]

We all know these pat­terns. In 2013 the women pro­tec­tion bill was passed at last. But what use is a bill to the for­mally ne­glected, op­pressed and re­pressed? Nige­ria’s women need more and they need so fast. This is not for their sake only, but more im­por­tantly for ours as a na­tion rid­dled with deadly ills.

Dr. Pere­grino Brimah, [Ev­ery Nige­rian Do Some­thing] Email: dr­brimah@ends.ng

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