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An Open Letter To First Lady Aisha Buhari: The Eleanor Roosevelt Of Nigeria

Source: John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D.

Aisha Buhari is now in her second term as the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. During the current presidency of her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, she continues to present her work and contributions in an independent, positive, bold way, and in a non-fanfare manner.

She continues to transform the role of the First Lady using her position as a platform for her ethical activism, social justice, humanitarian engagements, among other things.

Aisha Buhari through good faith and good intelligence continues to show her commitments to Human Rights matters.

Aisha Buhari continues to make immense contribution in the advancement of women’s rights, adult/children’s healthcare, protection of persons with disabilities, and advocating for real, practical and higher education.

She stands with programs and persons in need, comforts those being victimized and she does this in a direct manner and through the social media.

Aisha Buhari, internationally is being viewed as one not afraid to openly criticize and castigate the Buhari government and refuse to limit such criticism within the living room or kitchen of her husband, so the public can gain and understand that she is for that which is right and beneficial to the entire society.

Aisha Buhari is just like Eleanor Roosevelt who was the longest serving First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945; known for officially criticizing and supporting her husband, who was disabled due to paralysis from the waist down due to an autoimmune neuropathy. We all know President Buhari like all humans have had his share of medical and physical challenges, and always Aisha Buhari continues to stand firmly by him.

Eleanor Roosevelt is that woman who once stated: “A woman is like a tea bag. You don’t know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.” Eleanor remains America’s most-admired First Lady because she stood boldly against racial injustice, spoke her mind in support of disability rights, labor, and economic dignity for all, and she did this openly and through her six-day-a-week column which was syndicated in over sixty newspapers.

In the same vein, Aisha Buhari openly and through her high frequency twitter publications continues to remind the Nigerian public institutions of the legal rights of the average Nigerian.

Aisha Buhari is bitterly opposed to ultra-power, access to power, or the appearance of power through the lens of men only. In my capacity as a forensic and clinical psychologist this woman a beauty specialist, appears to be using her backgrounds to place special treatments on the face and mind of the suppressed and the marginalized.

Like Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, Aisha Buhari an independent and upfront woman has faced unhealthy criticism for speaking what she believes to be true to anyone in authority including the President.

As one who continues to speak power to the truth as it relates to seeking for good leadership, even makes it more legitimate for her to be in the public arena beautifying the nation by pointing out and removing all forms of built up dirt in our institutions as we all recently observed.

Even when her husband who is now in his second term once responded to criticism from her, said during an official visit in Germany, “I don't know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room." Yet, she remains supportive of her husband in a personal and official manner as well as in a constructive manner.

She continues to show that she will not stand timid, disengaged or idle in matters of public truths, she is ready to take risk and she is not the type to remain silent in the presence of wrong. She appears as one who is not ready to risk the integrity of her soul, she portrays as one who believes that the most tragic problem in life is to look the other way in the face of societal abuses. I see her doing more in the areas of poor housing codes, unjust imprisonment, building codes, sanitation, quality water, law enforcement, judiciary, lack of affordable housing, unemployment, equity, and poverty.

Aisha Buhari does not present as an ingrate, or a wicked beast with no sense of decency or compassion and to this day the public does not see her as hateful, divisive, callous and insensitive to the course of our national growth.

From the angle of human psychology this woman with background in the professions of beauty, public policy and international studies has something to teach her husband and that include compassion, flexibility, open-mindedness, representative leadership, and reaching out to help others less fortunate. All these will serve her husband’s presidential legacy and push our young but troubled society towards a transformative democracy.

For the purpose of transparency I did not write this article because of any attempt to seek government paid appointment in Nigeria as I will refuse such, but I am open to a volunteer job as long as it relates to public policy development and refinement and in the capacity as a possible at-large Public Policy Psychologist for Nigeria. Let your husband know where I stand. And I will carry out such work from the four corners of my office and residence in America in an online way. Thank God we now live in a digital world.

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D. is a Florida based Forensic/Legal/Clinical Psychologist with a focus on public policy for emerging democracies. [email protected]

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