First lady Aisha Buhari did not publicly react to “the other room” comment made by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 because she took it as a joke, her biography has revealed.
Buhari made the comments during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel while on a state visit to Germany in October 2016. He was asked to respond to an interview his wife granted the BBC in which she claimed her husband did not know most of the top government officials he appointed, saying some people have hijacked the government.
“I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room,” he had said, drawing criticism from many.
However, the senior special assistant to the president on administration and women affairs (office of the first lady) Hajo Sani wrote in the book on the first lady Aisha Buhari: Being different that the outspoken Mrs Buhari refused to react to the statement because she understood her husband’s mindset and sense of humour.
Sani added that the controversy did not discourage the president’s wife from further intervening on national issues.
She wrote, “Many will not forget the ‘other room’ metaphor which occurred during President Buhari’s visit to Germany, where he responded to a question at a joint press briefing with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
“In a lighter mood, he laughed off a question about his reaction to a BBC interview with his wife by saying, ‘I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen, and my living room and the other room.’
“His remarks immediately went viral on social media, with some people calling for and expecting a rebuttal from Aisha. Meanwhile, she never contested the statement or queried her husband. This is vintage Aisha Buhari.
“Married for decades, she understands her husband’s mindset and sense of humour, a side of him that the public may not see or appreciate.”