The first lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has been married to President Muhammadu Buhari since 1989 immediately after completing her secondary school education in Adamawa where she hails from.
A granddaughter of Nigeria’s first minister of defence, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu, Aisha, was 18 years old when she married Buhari, who was then 47 and had five children from a previous marriage to Safinatu Buhari, who he divorced in mid-eighties.
Safinatu died of diabetes in 2006, and six years after her demise, Buhari’s first daughter from her, Zulaihat Junaid, died of sickle cell anemia.
Aisha has equally bore Buhari five children: Zarah Buhari, Yusuf Buhari, Amina Buhari, Halima Buhari Sheriff, Aisha Buhari.
However, the challenges of marital life, she said did not hinder her from attaining her educational goals, among which was obtaining a bachelor of arts degree in public administration from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), a master’s degree in international affairs and strategic studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, a diploma in beauty therapy from the Carlton Institute of Beauty Therapy, Windsor, United Kingdom and a post-graduate diploma in cosmetology and beauty from Academy Esthetique Beauty Institute of France.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a 1,000 graduates of skills acquisition programme funded by her pet project, the Future Assured, in Bauchi, Mrs. Buhari recounted the emotional story of how she used to combined schooling with marriage, urging Northern women not to abandon education for marriage but combine both.
According to her, “Any woman that is not educated will lose a lot of opportunities in the modern world. If you cannot read, many opportunities will pass you by. I urge you women to go back to school.”