Nigerians upset over first lady's flashy watch

This photo of Nigeria's first lady wearing an expensive-looking watch outraged many on social media Image copyright George Okoro
Image caption This photo of Nigeria's first lady wearing an expensive-looking watch outraged many on social media

Photos of Nigeria's first lady wearing an expensive watch led some Nigerians to ask whether they undermine President Buhari's "man of the people" image.

In March, Muhammadu Buhari was elected as Nigeria's new president after a campaign which took a strong anti-corruption stance. Buhari underlined his humble credentials by raising money from ordinary voters. He even had to stretch his finances to pay the fee to register as a candidate.

This image was diluted somewhat when his wife, Aisha Buhari, was pictured wearing an expensive-looking watch at her husband's inauguration last week and these images were shared on the Instagram account of the photographer George Okoro.

Nigerian press described it as a Cartier Baignoire Folle 18-carat white gold diamond timepiece that was estimated to cost around $50,000 - more than £30,000 or about 10m Nigerian naira. Others, however, pointed out that knockoff versions are available for as little as $100.

Image copyright The watch gallery
Image caption Aisha Buhari's watch - the real version at least - retails for tens of thousands online

Around 3,000 tweets mentioning the first lady's name and the word "watch" have been posted. Many were critical and raised a sceptical eyebrow about where Mrs Buhari might have got the money to buy such an expensive piece of jewellery. "Aisha Buhari will be wearing a N10million watch and her husband told us he borrowed money to buy his presidential nomination form," said Twitter user Kate Vincent.

But others defended her: "Aisha Buhari didn't use Nigeria's money to buy her watch so what exactly is the problem? Am i missing something? Why is it a big deal?" tweeted @SalaudeenNana.

Blog by Mike Wendling

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