Nigeria News

Beauty and Ugliness of Nigeria’s First Ladies

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Nigeria News takes a look at the Nigeria first ladies, its beauty and ugliness.

Maryam Babangida brought glamour to the seat of power when her husband former military Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida hijacked power from Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on August 27, 1985.

She introduced herself as the first lady and ensured that an office was created for her by the military government.

Maryam was elegant. She had a superb carriage that breathed honour to that office. She made that unofficial office official with so many programmes she introduced to supplement the activities of her husband regime.

Her successor, Maryam Abacha, wife of the despotic military ruler, late Gen. Sani Abacha built on Babangida’s flamboyant programmes but she lacked the candour and elegance of the Delta State-born lady.

Like Maryam Babangida, almost all the wives of State governors preferred to be addressed with the first lady appellation. They inherited it from Babangida’s wife, owned it and launched numerous projects to immortalize their names.

The former Lagos State first lady Senator Oluremi Tinubu established the Spelling Bee Competition and formed the Committee of Wives of Lagos Senior Officials, COWLSO, which had since become a lasting legacy in the State.

However, some of Nigeria’s former first ladies arrogated so much power to themselves that they controlled the police and the military.

This was visible in the intrusion of Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, widow of late President Umoru Musa Yar’Adua during the short tenure of her husband. While the president was on the sick bed, the first lady nearly threw the country into disarray with the way she surreptitiously operated as the next Nigerian president.

Yar’Adua’s wife easily gave order and kept vice president Goodluck at a distance from her ailing husband.

It took the intervention of the human rights activist and former leaders like Olusegun Obasanjo to remove the hands of Turai from the plough that drove Nigeria.

Jonathan was eventually sworn-in and in a few months after his inauguration as president, the character of Jonathan’s own first lady Patience manifested like moonlight.

Patience Jonathan’s story is still fresh in our memory. She spoke with less decorum. She threw caution to the wind and muscled the opposition at every gathering.

She gave orders to elected officials, including her husband’s aides and sanctioned them at will. She messed up the office of the first lady and made it unattractive.

Perhaps that was why Aisha the wife of President Buhari refused to tag herself the first lady during her husband first term in office.

She is outspoken, elegant and beautiful. She is young and always speak the truth to power. But she hates to be called the first lady until yesterday Friday, June 14, 2019. when she announced at an event in Abuja that Nigerians could now address her as the first lady.

Her confidence has grown with the belief that this second term, In Sha Allah, the government and by extension, her husband will make a positive change in the country.

Of course, Aisha has brought to the office of the first lady frankness and freedom to female gender by her humility and finesse in the way she addresses issues. Aisha’s candour is a good omen for the office of a first lady, which those coming behind her must emulate.

Her modest life should be an orientation for women that will not only act like the first lady but in any capacity as a leader.

There is FLOTUS in the United States, let us have our own FLON.

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