Talk about an ultimatum. The wife of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said she may not back her husband at the next election unless he improves the government.
First Lady Aisha Buhari said her husband did not know most of the top officials he had appointed and suggested the government had been hijacked. “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,” she said in a video interview with BBC News Friday.
The first lady’s change of tune certainly comes as a surprise for Nigerians who witnessed her campaign hard for her husband last year before he was elected. She organized town hall meetings with women's groups and youth organizations across the country.
President Buhari, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), campaigned on a pledge to destroy the Islamist militant group Boko Haram and crack down on corruption.
Yet his critics have been quick to call President Buhari out on his perceived stagnant response to corruption
“Corruption is one of the reasons Nigeria has not industrialized as a nation,” Nigerian journalist and blogger Bayo Ogunmupe wrote in an opinion piece for one of the country’s major newspapers, The Guardian.
Nigeria’s flailing economy is also a major concern. Africa's largest economy is in recession for the first time in nearly three decades. Tumbling oil prices have hit hard the nation's main source of income from oil.
President Buhari, who made headlines last month for plagiarizing a speech from President Barack Obama, faces re-election in 2019. While he has yet to publicly respond to his wife’s comments, Ms. Buhari says “he knows.”