The First Lady and the sparkly watch

Finweek English Edition - - IN BRIEF - Muham­madu Buhari

How much time do you spend in the morn­ing think­ing about which watch you’ll wear? Sec­onds, min­utes, hours? I’m as­sum­ing no more than a mo­ment or two, most prob­a­bly be­cause you have just the one watch. If you’re an oil mag­nate or a col­lec­tor, maybe there’s a glass-fronted case pro­tect­ing ser­ried ranks of time­pieces, but oth­er­wise it’s not the big de­ci­sion of the day.

For Aisha Buhari, t he wife of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari of Nige­ria, this is now ap­par­ently a cru­cial de­ci­sion, com­ing as it does af­ter the first full week of her hus­band’s ad­min­is­tra­tion and af­ter a roar of out­rage when it was re­vealed that the watch she wore to his in­au­gu­ra­tion may (I re­peat may, and imag­ine it in ital­ics and in bold) have cost a lot of money. It may have been a di­a­mond-crusted Cartier worth around 10m naira (R631 000), which is enough to stick in the throat of any Nige­rian who can’t af­ford to eat.

Al­ter­na­tively, it may have been the kind of knock-off that many of us buy on hol­i­day to make our­selves look that bit f lashier than we are. It may have cost around $150 (R1 900). That’s not a cheap watch by some Nige­rian stan­dards; many peo­ple here would be happy with any watch at all, but there’s a world of dif­fer­ence be­tween a watch that costs tens of thou­sands and a watch that, for all we know, costs just tens .

hy, you might beW­won­der­ing, am I rat­tling on about watches in what was such a big week for Nige­rian pol­i­tics? Be­cause the watch furore doesn’t tell us nearly as much about Aisha Buhari’s per­sonal st yle as it does about the pres­sure on the Buhari ad­min­is­tra­tion

First Lady Aisha Buhari reg­is­ter­ing to vote on 28 March 2015

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