Aisha Buhari, the First Lady of NIgeria, has opened up on how she survived after getting married at an early age.
She got married to President Muhammadu Buhari in 1989 when she was 18 years old.
In the book: ‘Aisha Buhari: Being Different’, the first lady said the future seemed unsure when she got married as a teenager, but the spirit of optimism made her conquer fear and worries.
Describing Buhari as the kind of man any woman will want to marry, she said her family values played a significant role in seeing her through.
Daji Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs, authored the book, which is a biography of the First Lady.
“In many villages in northern Nigeria, educating a girl is not considered a priority. Early marriage affects every eighth girl. According to UNICEF, one in seven girls is reported to give birth by age seventeen. The easiest justification for this practice is that it serves to reduce the burden on the family.
“It is also viewed as a way of protecting the sanctity of the girl-child. Another report shows that child marriage occurs more frequently among girls who are the least educated and most impoverished and living in rural areas. The above scenario was the kind of social-cultural background that Aisha was born into and raised. Married at an early age, for her, the future seemed unsure.
“But the hope in her mind is massive. Interestingly, fate shone on her with the splendour of an enlightened gentleman. She married the kind of man any woman would want to associate herself with, a highly placed and responsible man. Even though this automatically put her on the path of greatness, her family values have been the key influence in her life to this day.
“In 1989, the young lady, Aisha Halilu, got married to Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Major General and former military Head of State of Nigeria. Marriage as an institution moves at an undulating pace, full of uncertainties. The ability to surmount the challenges and move on to an unknown destination is crucial in marriage. Aisha, like any other girl-child married as a teenager, faced the challenges of adapting to womanhood.”