Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

How I Managed Buhari’s PTSD For Many Years– Aisha Buhari

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Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari on Tuesday recounted how her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for many years.

The first lady who spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Armed Forces Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Centre (AFPTSDC), said Buhari battled with PTSD following his involvement in the civil war which held from 1967 to 1970; his overthrow as military head of state, and subsequent detention for 40 months without being charged with any offence.

Aisha said she also suffered the consequences of PTSD through Buhari adding that she had to put up with her husband’s mental health issues at the age of 19.

According to her, having to handle the PTSD of someone who was a former Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces was a huge task.

The New Diplomat reports that 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.

Speaking further, Aisha commended Mrs Lucky Irabor-led Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) for initiating the AFPTSDC which will address the burden of soldiers who were victims of war.

In her words, “I want to thank DEPOWA for this foresighted vision of establishing a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Centre for our soldiers. Indeed, PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by terrifying events.

“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.

“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.

“You can imagine myself at 19 years, handling somebody that went to war, suffered 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.”

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