Aisha Buhari is the wife of former Nigerian head of state, Major-General Muhammadu Leko Buhari.
FULL NAMES (alternate names): Hajia Mrs. Aisha Buhari
She is Fulani from Adamawa State.
BIRTH AND EARLY DAYS
She was born on the 17th of February, 1971 to the family of Mallam Halilu Ahmed Ciroma, who happened to be the nephew of Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu, Nigeria’s first minister of defence. She is the grand daughter of the Chiroman Adamawa, the first person to hold this traditional title.
EDUCATION & CAREER
Following her marriage as a teenager, her education received the full support of her husband who did not only encourage her but also got her a private tutor. She later proceeded and got a National Certificate in Education (NCE) from the National Teachers Institute (NTI) and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Ambrose Alli University (Kaduna Satellite campus). Tall, elegant and bespectacled, she holds a masters degree in international affairs and strategic studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna. She also got a diploma in Beauty Therapy from the Carlton Institute of Beauty Therapy, Windsor, United Kingdom and did a certificate course at the French Beauty School, Esthetique Academie in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Mrs. Buhari is:
- Member, Vocational Training and Charitable Trust, United Kingdom.
- Member, International Health and Beauty Council.
- Resource Person (Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). At NBTE, she was actively involved in the curriculum for small and medium scale enterprises.
A business woman and entrepreneur, she is the Founder and Managing Director of the Hanzy Spa and she is also the Principal of the Hanzy Beauty Institute, one of the consultants on Youth Empowerment and Skill Acquisition Programme of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company.
General Buhari is particularly supportive and interested in his wife’s educational advancements and in order to ensure this goal was met, he hired a special English teacher from the Command Secondary School in Kaduna who gave her the necessary tutorials at home as hinted earlier. Thereafter, she enrolled at the Distance Learning Programme of the NCE at the National Teachers Institute, NTI, Kaduna. From there, she was off to the Ambrose Alli University where she enrolled in the undergraduate programme and received lectures with other students at the Leventis Building Satellite Campus in Kaduna, some months ago, she graduate from the NDA with her masters degree. Gingered by her husband and her own academic success, Mrs. Buhari is noted for contributing to and encouraging many other people, some of which were family members and non-relatives too, to pursue education to the highest level possible.
LOVE, FAMILY AND MARRIAGE
On the 2nd of February, 1989, a couple of months before her 19th birthday, she got married to Nigeria’s former head of state and military ruler, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). She is the only wife of the general but she is not his first wife. General Buhari was married to the late Hajia Safinatu Buhari whom he divorced legally for more than two years before tying the knots with Aisha. Their marriage is blessed with five children namely Halima, Yusuf, Zarah, Aisha and Amina and two grand children one of whom is her namesake.
INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT AISHA BUHARI
- In 2003, she was not able to vote for her husband, General Buhari, who was then the presidential aspirant of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP. Why? Her name disappeared from the INEC voter register.
- She speaks Fulani and English fluently.
- When rumours were flying round that she is a foreigner, she responded on the 23rd of January via Deborah Iliya, an APC chieftain at the launch of a book titled “Wind of change: 72 leadership qualities of Buhari” in Kaduna:
“Let me use this opportunity to deliver a message because there may not be another opportunity to deliver it. We know what is going on in the country today. It has reached the stage that people are hunting for Buhari not to reach that day of election.They have also said that Aisha Buhari is not a Nigerian. Aisha said I should tell everyone that she is a Nigerian. Does it even matter if she is not a Nigerian? What has that got to do with what is happening in this country? “Aisha said she is pleased because the author is a young man; this is an indication that our youths have always understood the problems of this country and they are really pulling us together to fight a common front and that is change.
“We need change in Nigeria. For the past six years, we have been suffering; I wish a woman has been President we wouldn’t have been in this mess. So women, she (Aisha) has asked that I should encourage you to come out and be part of nation building. We are powerful; we are strong and stronger than the men.
“Please support women and next time we will have a woman President in Nigeria.”
WORDS, QUOTES AND SAYINGS
Watch her speak in the videos below:
ON HER HUSBAND:
In an interview with the BBC, she spoke against her husband, see below:
In an interview with ThisDay Style, she said of her husband, General Buhari:
“Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is a very humorous person and enjoys listening to comic stories. Whenever he cracks jokes you will laugh till you shed tears. He also likes taking people by surprise. My husband is a family-oriented person. He has very close relationships with his children, grandchild, and entire members of the family. He is very caring and protective of us. My husband believes in women’s education. He encouraged me to pursue my educational goals. I’m sure Nigerian women know the truth that he is a gender sensitive leader and will vote for him against all the political propaganda to discredit him. He insisted during his time as Head of State, that every council should have a female representative.”
ON BEING A FIRST LADY: While in Abuja during the inaugural meeting of the APC women’s presidential campaign initiative, she said:
“If the office of the first lady is constitutionally recognised, he (Buhari) will not tamper with it, but if it is not that’s okay. For me, I will perform my duties and role as the wife of the President of Nigeria traditionally.Wives of presidents have some traditional roles, like receiving guests, visiting orphanages, helping the less privileged people. They also lead in the fight for the right of women and malnourished children, infant mortality rate, kidnapping and girl-child trafficking.”
At an APC mega rally in Edo State, she told the wife of the President of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan should not be afraid of jails. Mrs. Jonathan had earlier said she could not be taking food to her husband in prison and instructed Nigerians not to vote for the APC because they will all be imprisoned.