First Lady Aisha Buhari has said she endured several years living with President Muhammadu Buhari, who battled post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
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She disclosed this at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Armed Forces Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Centre (AFPTSDC), organised by the Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA).
“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,” she said.
Buhari had on several occasions recalled his role during the Nigerian civil war.
In 2018, during his investiture as Grand Patron of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) at the presidential villa in Abuja, he narrated how he and his colleagues fought the war.