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New Nigerian deputy Reserve Bank governor under fire for dressing 'immodestly'

New Nigerian deputy Reserve Bank governor under fire for dressing 'immodestly'

Newly-appointed deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Nigeria, Aisha Ahmad, has come under fire for dressing 'immodestly'.

Ahmad, 40, has come in for heavy criticism from a number of Muslim clerics, especially those from Niger State in the north of the country, where she hails from. Girls from that area are often more poorly educated than their counterparts in the south. 

Ahmad, an executive at one of Nigeria's leading financial institutions, Diamond Bank, has several degrees, including one from the prestigious Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom, came in for criticism not only for her relative young age, but also for the way she dressed.

Photos taken from her social media accounts prompted the criticism from many conservative religious figures from her native northern Nigeria.

She was called a "sex worker" by one critic, Abubakar Almajiri, who posted on Facebook that her appointment was "a disservice to us Muslims". He also lambasted the president for making the appointment, saying "We expect him to choose, if not a good seed among us Muslims, but a little bit better Muslim for that position."

The pictures that prompted this outpouring of vitriol showed Ahmad in a dress and with her hair uncovered.

One supporter, who jumped to Ahmad's defense was Nigerian writer Gimba Kakanda who told critics from the north that they had far more important issues to worry about than Ahmad's dress.

"It's embarrassing that we are actually debating the body and dress of a woman, with over ten million of our children out of school," Kakanda told the BBC.

"Imagine if we had channelled the energy and outrage we put on to demonise Mrs Ahmad into addressing our systemic poverty, low literacy rate, political corruption, and decaying infrastructure".

Ahmad's position however, is not yet secure, as she now has to wait on the Nigerian senate to confirm her appointment.

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