The wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has revealed that her husband struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after the civil war, detention and electoral losses he experienced.
The First Lady disclosed this on Tuesday, while speaking as a special guest of honour at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Armed Forces Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Centre, a project of the Mrs. Lucky Irabor-led Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association, (DEPOWA).
While recounting how she suffered the consequences of PTSD at an early stage in her marriage to President Buhari, A’isha disclosed how she became a physiotherapist to the President after he fought the civil war and was detained for 40 months.
According to the First Lady, “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 the 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 for elections in 2003 and failing; failed again in 2007, and in 2011, the same thing – all without rehabilitation – I became a physiotherapist. You can imagine me, at 19 years old, handling somebody that went to war, suffered a coup d’état, then lost several elections, and finally, getting to the Villa in 2015. Also, for a woman to tell them that this is wrong or right in Nigeria and Africa is a problem”, she stated.