In the generation before ours, and in the generation before the generation before ours, there were people – men and women – who questioned if marital fidelity truly existed. And now, in this generation, here I am, among many others, questioning the same issue, wondering if it is just an ideology instead of an actual day of life.
There have been many cases of married men who have come to speak the words to me that in their heads, no woman can say no to: I want to marry you. There have been men who have tried to pretend to be unmarried, men who have said they are unmarried but quickly explained why their wives have made it an unbearable marriage, and why I, have been sent by God to save them, and there have been men who have sat on the fence, not saying what they are or aren’t, but playing with the idea of being whatever they thought I wanted them to be. But every single time, I am left wondering what kind of women they are married to and what said women are going through.
I remember specifically the case of that guy in church. He had moved to Maryland from another State, and it was his first time visiting my church. He approached me and tried to sell his business to me, saying he could help my own business. At the end, business cards were exchanged. That evening he called and sang a different song. He wanted to know if he could take me to dinner, and if I could be his mistress. Brownie points for not being pretentious.
I learned a lot from him in that one conversation. I learned that he was married with kids, that his wife was pompous and thereby, the inherent cause of his displeasure and dissatisfaction, that monogamy was unnatural, that biblical men were never monogamous (like David), that infidelity actually makes a marriage stronger because when a man sleeps with another woman, it makes his wife more desirable, that he was going to give me money out of his school stipend whenever I needed it, that all I needed to do for him was keep him company by cooking for him, going on dates with him, and of course, letting him invade my privacy with the only appendage that makes him think he’s a man, and finally, that he will let me get married when it’s time. It was just the offer of my dreams. I cannot imagine why I turned it down.
But it was only a couple weeks later that he stood on the altar and sold his product to church, praising the Most High God, and saying how imperative it was to live a holy life and obey His word. And the congregation, they clapped for him and shouted alleluia, amen, and glory. And when he was done, they invested their hard earned money into his cock shit. They called it a sowed seed. I knew better. I sat and watched in horror as he led God’s people astray. And then, I prayed for God to help me, for it was not my place to determine if the ground should open up and swallow him or if lightening should strike through the ceiling and transport his soul to his forefathers.
There are many arguments from the other side, arguments that pass off as excuses, not justifications. Just because we can do something does not mean we should do it. But the other side, they have different reasons why a married man cheats. It is because his wife has gotten fat, because she cares more about her career than she does about her home, because she did not give him children, because she did not give him male children, because she is disrespectful and not submissive, because she does not cook, and because there are women who are willing to be cheated with.
As long as there are women who are willing to be cheated with, married men will always cheat. Should we then all point guns to our heads because there are guns willing to be shot, because we have the hands to shoot them, and because we have enough problems to want to end it all? When a man who is unable to handle the trials of life decides to take his own life, he is called a punk for taking the easy way out. But if this same man were to take the easy way out by cheating on his wife instead of just walking away, he is called *DRUM ROLL, PLEASE* … a man! Oh, but of course.
It was only last month that I made the acquaintance of Abiodun ‘Omoba’ Olubode at a mutual friend’s house. He calls himself Omoba. He was there with his wife and son. The conversation between me and Omoba did not go past gadgets. Specifically, Blackberry and Nikon. I saw him again a couple of weeks later at a naming ceremony where again, he inquired of my Nikon flash. When he added me on Facebook, I accepted because he was now officially someone I technically knew.
But Omoba sent me a Facebook message that changed the dynamic of things. He said he had dreamt about me twice the night before, that he thought there was something about me, that he did not know how to tell his partner, that he wanted me to keep his feelings between us –“no third party please” – and what did I think. I did not reply.
When listeners added me on Skype during the live show on Saturday morning, I accepted everyone as usual, only to realize that Omoba was one of the people who added me. The hawk had sneaked in with the chickens. He wanted to know my number, if I had received his messages on Facebook, why I had not replied his messages, and if I was worried about his marital status. I promised to reply his message on Facebook.
Days later, I had still not replied Omoba, and he took it upon himself to send several more messages, inquiring of my whereabouts and stating that he was sure I could not possibly be that busy. Of course not. What else could I have on my to-do list, but to reply Omoba’s messages?
Women have more reasons than I know of for dating married men: money, sex, love, infatuation, good looks, prestige, fun, lack of commitment, ignorance, etc. It is said that if one must eat a frog, then one should eat a very fat one. Neither wealth nor fame nor extreme good looks nor intellectual acquisition did Omoba have. Even at rock bottom, I would have no excuse. But what is it that compels his confidence?
When I replied his message and included a four-letter word that rhymes with his insatiable meatless appendage – the possible cause of all his problems – I also predicted his next move. And just like the fly that entered the grave with the dead body, he did as I said he would. He said it was not him, that he did not know what I was talking about, that his Facebook and Skype accounts were both simultaneously hacked, and that I should please explain to him what was going on. In spite of his alleged innocence, he went ahead to call several mutual friends, telling them to plead his guilty case. The smart ones knew better.
Whether or not women have – by their words and by their actions – enabled their husbands to start illicit affairs is not a subject for debate. The honest ones among us know what we have done and what we are capable of doing. That said, the decision to stay faithful and stick it out or seek pleasure elsewhere is still the man’s decision. It is still a choice, and just like every other choice, the one making it has to own full responsibility for it. And not every man has an enabling wife. Some men just want to eat out of both hands.
Omoba’s wife contacted me to commit the ultimate blunder, an epic fail in its entirety. Her husband, according to her, would never stoop so low. I agree with her. It is impossible to stoop to any kind of low when you are already at the bottom. There is only one time that a married woman should contact the alleged other woman, and that is when her husband has done everything in his power to get rid of her. In any other case, contacting the other woman is like changing her light bulb when there is no electricity. Whether she uses sixty watts, hundred watts, or halogen lights, they will remain off. She can contact the other woman from now till kingdom come, but he who contacts her last, contacts her best. And that would be the cheating husband.
If this entire piece reads as if I mostly hold the married man accountable for his affairs, it is because I do. Morally, it is clear that no woman should be romantically or sexually involved with a married man who is not her husband. But between the lawless woman and the married man, only one of them has made a vow and commitment to another woman saying that he will forsake all others and cling only to his wife, saying that he will stick by her, come what may, till life evades him. Records will reflect that that person is not the lawless woman.
People may be quick to blame the other woman, calling her a whore and a home breaker, but it is from the crack in the wall that the lizard crawls in. If the married man did not open the door of his home, the other woman would not be able to step in and do whatever she is accused of doing.
But what do I know? I am just an unmarried girl giving marital advice. I may soon be directed to go hug a transformer. If it is Optimus Prime, then I would not mind.
By Vera Ezimora
I am a writer, a blogger, and an online talk radio host. I am also a big dreamer and a perpetual laugher. I laugh hysterically at my own jokes, in my sleep, and at imaginary things and events, sometimes to the shock and detriment of people around me. According to my heart desires, I am the future wife of a very lucky man and the future mother of a confusingly identical set of twin boys (and their baby sister). The rest is not yet history.
Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?
Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.
In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.
In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.
“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.
In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.
As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’
Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.
The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.
On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.
“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.
In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.
With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.
The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.
Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.
Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.
PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.
• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.
• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.
• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.
Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye
We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!
So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.
Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A
Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.
The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?
The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.
He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….
The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.
Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”
It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.
My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.
Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.
Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth
By Fredrick Nwabufo
Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.
I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.
The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.
“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.
In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.
In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.
Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.
As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.
‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.
And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.
To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.
So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.
But Sanusi was still talking.
Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.
I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.
Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.
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