Nigeria’s Buhari may not get wife’s support in 2019 re-election run

ABUJA, Nigeria, The wife of the president of Nigeria may support him for re-election unless he shakes up the government, she said Friday.

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Aisha Buhari, wife of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, pictured,told an interviewer she may not support his possible 2019 re-election bid unless he shakes up the government, saying he knows few people he appointed to high government positions. Photo by Drew Angerer/UPI | License Photo

Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, told a BBC interviewer her husband, 74, is not aware of who he has appointed in ministerial positions, adding that a “few people” behind the appointments in the ruling All Progressives Congress party have “hijacked” the government.

“The president does not know 45 out of 50, for example, of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years. He is yet to tell me [if he will run for re-election] but 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.”

He was elected in 2016 after a campaign in which he promised an end to government corruption.

Mrs. Buharui added her husband’s greatest achievement since taking office in May is improved security in northeastern Nigeria, where the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram has seen its authority decline in recent months.

“No-one is complaining about being attacked in their own homes. Thankfully everyone can walk around freely, go to places of worship, etc. Even kids in Maiduguri [the city where Boko Haram was founded] have returned to schools,” she said.

Part of the interview was aired Tuesday, after which the Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust reported the BBC received a letter from the President Buhari, asking them to forego broadcasting the rest of the interview.

By Ed Adamczyk