President Muhammadu Buhari has long struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, the First Lady Aisha Buhari revealed on Tuesday (PTSD).
Mrs. Buhari spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for the AFPTSDC (Armed Forces Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Center), which was organised by the Defense and Police Officers’ Wives Association, led by Lucky Irabor.
The first lady asserted that Buhari suffered from PTSD as a result of his unrepentant involvement in the Nigerian civil war, his removal as military commander, and his subsequent 40-month detention without being charged with a crime.
Aisha claimed that Buhari’s failure in three straight elections made the situation even more difficult for her to deal with at the age of 19, when she married him and unintentionally served as his physiotherapist.
She said, “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.
“Finally, the whole nation rose against the misuse of power and bad governance. He only succeeded when it became a movement and here we are today. He ruled Nigeria before and he is ruling Nigeria now and this is the last time and final.”
Aisha chastised politicians who had recently lost primary elections and had become nearly inconsolable, with some making themselves unreachable by turning off their phones.
“Failing election for three times was a big blow to every contestant but those that have contested for just yesterday, a simple primary election, they are still living in a traumatic condition, I tried to console them, I tried to talk to them, some of them have switched off their phones up till today, just because of a primary election,” said Mrs Buhari.
She went on to say that the PTSD centre was crucial for both military personnel and civilians, emphasising that soldiers are the main victims.