Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari has disclosed how she became a physiotherapist to President Muhammadu Buhari after he fought the civil war and detained for 40 months.
Aisha Buhari disclosed that Buhari suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, for many years, due to his involvement in Nigeria’s civil war, his overthrow as military Head of State, and subsequent detention for 40 months without being charged with any offence.
She disclosed this while speaking at an event for the Armed Forces Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Centre (AFPTSDC) initiated by the Mrs Lucky Irabor-led Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA).
She recounted how she suffered the consequences of PSTD at an early stage in her marriage to Buhari.
According to Aisha Buhari: “It is a reality that soldiers and military families have to live with, despite its negative consequences. Being a soldier’s wife or a retired soldier’s wife and a wellness expert, I understand the challenges associated with PTSD and its impact on military families and the nation.
“My husband served the Nigerian Army for 27 years before he was overthrown in a coup d’état. He fought civil war for 30 months without rehabilitation; he ruled Nigeria for 20 months and was detained for 40 months without disclosing the nature of his offence.
“One year after he came out from detention, we were married, I clocked 19 years in his house as his wife, legitimately. I suffered the consequences of PTSD because having gone through all these, and at the age of 19, to handle somebody who was a former Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, to tell him that he is wrong is the first mistake you will make.
“So, at the age of 19, I had to figure out how to tell somebody of his calibre that he was wrong or right and that was the beginning of my offence in his house, and contesting elections in 2003 and failed, 2007, failed and 2011, the same thing – all without rehabilitation – I became a physiotherapist.
“You can imagine me at 19 years, handling somebody that went to war, suffered coup d’état, then lost several elections, and, finally, getting to the Villa in the 2015. Also, for a woman to tell them that this is wrong or right in Nigeria and Africa is a problem.”