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‘Aisha Yesufu was once shy to speak in public’, husband reveals



Aisha Yesufu

Aliu Yesufu, the husband of Aisha Yesufu, co-founder of the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ movement, has said that when they first met, the popular activist was a shy young lady who was afraid to speak in public.

He made the announcement while giving a speech on ‘The Act of Becoming a Purposeful Man’ at a symposium held in Abuja on Friday to celebrate the 70th birthday of Pastor Chinedu Ezekwesili, husband of former Minister of Education, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili.

“When I married Aisha, she was in her 300th grade. Nobody knew her then. She was timid and used to be afraid of speaking in public. Wherever she went to speak, I would be the one to read the speech and would always explain to her the way to go about it until she got used to it.

“A man shouldn’t use his authority all the time, even if his religion permits it. He shouldn’t be seen competing with his wife. Usually, we want to be the ones dishing out commands and watching women carry them out. This is perhaps why most of the wars reported in history were caused by men,” he stated.

Aliu, on the other hand, stated that people’s perceptions of his wife shifted after she became involved in activism and her anti-corruption campaign.

He stated that at some point, his relatives, friends, and coworkers would phone to ask how he deals with her at home.

“Pastor Chinedu and I belong to the same club. Our wives are more popular than us, and we have accepted that. And just like him, I still call my wife a baby too. We know men have egos and may find it intimidating to marry women like Aisha or Ezekwesili.

“Have you ever been asked to step aside because somebody wants to take a photograph with your wife? Seriously, that is my lot. It is really laughable and in most cases, it is the Gen Z that does that most.

“To many, they have that notion that no woman, more so a married one, should be seen doing what Aisha is doing. At one point, my family and friends used to call to ask how I coped with her. But I told them it was not a difficult thing,” he said.