Aisha Muhammadu Buhari (born 17 February 1971) is the First Lady of Nigeria and wife of the current President Muhammadu Buhari, who assumed office on 29 May 2015 after defeating the then-incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Aisha is a cosmetologist, beauty therapist and author.
Early life and family:
Aisha was born on 17, February 1971 in Adamawa State, Northeastern Nigeria. Her grandfather Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu was Nigeria's first minister of defence. Aisha's father was a civil engineer, and her mother is a descendant of the Ankali family, renowned farmers. Aisha Buhari went to primary and secondary school in Adamawa State. On 2 December 1989, Aisha married Muhammadu Buhari, who had five children from a previous marriage to Safinatu Yusuf. Aisha and Muhammadu Buhari have five children together and one grandchild.
Aisha Buhari holds a bachelor of arts degree in public administration from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), and a master's degree in international affairs and strategic studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. Aisha obtained a diploma in beauty therapy from the Carlton Institute of Beauty Therapy, Windsor, United Kingdom. Aisha Buhari holds a post-graduate diploma in cosmetology and beauty from Academy Esthetique Beauty Institute of France. Aisha is a member of the United Kingdom Vocational Training and Charitable Trust and the International Health and Beauty Council.
For years, Mrs. Buhari has run a successful business as the founder/managing director of Hanzy Spa and principal of Hanzy Beauty Institute, a beauty salon in Kaduna and Abuja. Aisha is a resource person to the National Basic Technical Education (NBTE) on beauty therapy and cosmetology and has participated in the curriculum development of small medium enterprises for NBTE. Aisha closed her beauty salon following the emergence of her husband as president of Nigeria.
Aisha published a book titled Essentials of Beauty Therapy: A Complete Guide for Beauty Specialists, which has been recommended as a text for the NBTE curriculum.
Political career and advocacy :
In July 2014, Aisha advised Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to resign from office as president of Nigeria, following a suicide bombing and an alleged assassination attempt on her husband. Aisha is a women's right activist and child right Advocate, and she has criticized child marriage and homosexuality.
Aisha Buhari is a vocal advocate of women's rights and children rights, and this was a focal point during her campaign for her husband's election in 2015. Aisha has, on several occasions, emphasized the need for young girls to get primary and secondary school education before getting married, saying that she believes no girl should get married before the age of 17.
In May 2015, on the sidelines of the Global Women Conference held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she stressed the need for Nigerian laws that will protect the women from forced early marriages, sex trafficking and other issues Nigerian girls and women contend with. Aisha raised concerns on child sexual abuse in Nigeria, sex trafficking and the need for legislation against early marriage.
On 12 June 2015, Aisha Buhari met with some mothers of the abducted Chibok Girls on 14 April 2016, and donated proceeds from her book to parents of the Chibok girls, the Buni Yadi boys murdered in 2014, and children suffering from malnutrition.
In October 2016, Aisha Buhari said that she would not back her husband in the next election unless he got a grip on his government. He responded that she belonged in his kitchen, saying "I don't know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room."
Future Assured is an initiative founded by Aisha Buhari to continue her advocacy work for the health and well-being of women and children through community mobilization and health promotion. Aisha was prompted by the need to improve the current poor health outcomes of women, children and other vulnerable groups of the Nigerian population, and Aisha affirmed her commitment to this work at a stakeholders meeting held at the presidential villa and a public launch of Future Assured programs at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York on 29 September 2015.
Aisha is currently working with the Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria which is as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency that has plagued the country since 2009. She set up a committee to deal with the distribution of relief materials after a visit to an IDP camp in Borno Northeast Nigeria. On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Aisha Buhari empowered 2000 women in Yola, Adamawa State at the event organized by Aisha Buhari Foundation with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE). Aisha launched a Green School Agricultural Initiative at Aliyu Mustafa College, Yola, on June 11, 2019. She also encouraged young people to embrace Agriculture.
Aisha Buhari surprised Nigerians when she made it known that her role as wife of the president of Nigeria will be limited to whatever is constitutionally recognized, as Aisha promised not to overstep. At the presentation of awards to wives of governors, on Thursday, June 13, 2019, Aisha Buhari adopted the title of first lady five years after President Buhari said he would scrap the office.