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Should Women Be Aisha Buhari Or Patience Jonathan?
Aisha Buhari Or Patience Jonathan?" data-image-width="400" data-image-height="259"/>
On Saturday, June 25, Aisha Buhari, the Wife of the President released a statement rubbishing a key social investment scheme launched by her husbandâs administration and said it was a dismal failure in the Northern region of the country. This recent criticism of Muhammadu Buhariâs administration is a stark difference from her predecessor, Patience Jonathan, who never spoke against Goodluck Jonathan. In fact, speeches made by Patience often got used as comic material even after her tenure ended.
Let us take a look at the fourteenth and fifteenth First Ladies of Nigeria.
Aisha Buhari, the third child with two senior brothers and six younger ones, was born on 17 February, 1971 in Adamawa to a civil engineer father and a mother who is a descendant of the wealthy Ankali family.
Before her marriage to President Buhari, she had already completed her primary and secondary school education. She also reportedly got accepted into the University but she declined so she could be a housewife. She luckily got his approval and support to further her education and despite being a mother to five children, she has a couple of educational achievements. These include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU); a Masterâs degree in International Affairs and Strategic Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna; a Diploma in Beauty Therapy; and a Post-graduate diploma in cosmetology and beauty from Academy Esthetique Beauty Institute of France.
After President Buhariâs inauguration, she took a departure from the traditional First Lady title. Just that decision already gave Nigerians an idea of the kind of First Lady she will be and I doubt we have been disappointed so far.
Her Excellency, Mrs Aisha Buhari is an advocate for equal rights, respect, and the full support of education for women and girls. She has Nigeriaâs best interest at heart and her outspoken persona means that she always speaks out whenever there is anything out of place going on without caring whose donkey got gored. She firmly believes that women are not mere side pieces in their respective family and should get a lot more involved in the countryâs development.
Dame Patience Jonathan nee Faka, on the other hand, was born on October 25, 1957 in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. Despite her grammatical blunders in speeches, she not only has primary and secondary level education, she also has a NCE certificate in Mathematics and Biology.
Her journey to being a member if Nigeriaâs first family started as a teacher in Port-Harcourt. She moved into the banking sector in 1997 and reportedly established Port Harcourtâs first community bank â Akpo Community Bank. She eventually got another role in with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education where she was until her husband became the Deputy Governor of the state.
Not much about her was in the public eye until she became the countryâs First Lady. As First Lady, she was locally, nationally and internationally recognized as a Philanthropist. She played an active role in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and got rewarded with âBeyond the tearsâ International Humanitarian Award in New York. Other International awards she has received include; The Goodwill Ambassador and âwind of changeâ award from South-South women group.
Both women are controversial in their own ways. Most of the times Dame Patience was in the news, it was for one grammatical error or the other. She faced a lot of criticisms from the media and Nigerians on social media because they expect a person whoâs highly respected and educated to have a better hold on the English language. Aisha Buhari, on her part, was mostly in the news for being the number one critic of her husbandâs administration.
One of the biggest highlights was on April 14, 2017, where she reportedly said she was not going to support her husbandâs second term bid because of her âsense of justiceâ. Aisha said she did not mean to disrespect anybody but was only saying the truth expected of her. She also added that her criticism was because she was seeing the mandate given to her husband being abused by those beside him.
In 2006, Dame Jonathan was reportedly questioned for money laundering charges at the Lagos International airport, an accusation she rebuffed. Aisha, like her husband, is an anti-corruption crusader. According to Premium Times, she reportedly caused the arrest of her own Aide De Camp, after accusing him of defrauding people in her name.
In terms of public appearance and popularity, Patience Jonathan, however, stands out.
But despite their many differences and similarities, there is no doubt that both women have good hearts and do not shy from supporting their husbands. They have also done enough to ease the path for ambitious younger women following in their stead â by carving out a new, healthier way to be a woman in public life.
So. Should women be an Aisha Buhari or a Patience Jonathan?
We have established that both women are successful and have good hearts but, without any disrespect to Dame Patience, the consensus role model will be Aisha Buhari. The world is moving gradually away from women who donât have voices even in their houses. In a world of Hillary Clintons who defy all odds and run for the Presidential position of the number 1 country in the world, aspiring to be an Aisha is a good start.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section.
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