So, since the presidential inauguration, the picture below has been making the round on Nigerian sites. This is a picture of our ‘young’ President and his perfect family of 4.
I must say, that despite my deep loathing for the political party he represents, despite my doubt that he will achieve much during his 4 years of Presidential rule (I am willing to eat my words come 2015), my heart was warmed by this picture of family harmony. And that is why I am blogging about it..too tell you what this simple picture meant to me.
First, If you’ll could pause for a minute and think…you’d realize how unique this is…to see the president of Nigeria presented to us as a family man. Most other Nigerian presidents have been polygynists with the favoured wife reigning as Queen aka First Lady. Nigerians knew there were other wives, other children (in fact plenty children e.g. Obasanjo) and we knew Nigeria’s fortune was being distributed amongst them all(Office of the first son of Nigeria..etc), but when you don't know them, how can you point fingers? How can you hold the children accountable? How can you hold their Father accountable for them? We hear of Governors opening Swiss accounts in their 1st Lady's name. Now imagine when he actually has 5 wives' names to play with. Where do you start investigating.....just saying. So yes, this was a good move by Jonathan and I hope he has set a precedence for other Presidents..
Second, from the venomous comments made on Linda Ikeji’s blog by anonymous vipers (aren’t they always!!), I gather that the kids are not Patience’.
Why that should attract opprobrium I can’t understand. If her reproductive organs failed her so what? When did that become a crime? A reason for scorn? Isn’t this the 21st century? Is she less of a woman? Do young people, especially the young women commenting on that site really really still think like that? (shudders).
Today I stand Patience’ ally. Whatever her ‘plessing umblerric’ problems, I can empathise with a woman who has to go through childlessness in a judgmental society like ours….. And yet she walks with her head held high, basking in her husband’s love. Me likey!
A corollary to that is that I have also developed an admiration for Jonathan Goodluck. As a Nigerian man. As a husband. We know that in Nigeria, childless wives (be it your fault or his) are treated like the scum of the earth, and if your husband is rich, he is more likely than not, to send you packing while he finds a more fertile womb (or a chic who is sharp enough to present him with a child even if its not his...sic).
So, I find that the message his union with Patience is sending to me and hopefully to the Nigerian public, to nasty in laws everywhere is, ‘If I loved her despite…’, ‘If I treat her as my right hand woman’, ‘If I treat her as my queen’ then why can’t you do that to your wives?
Last but not the least…..there were scathing comments that the kids were born of a second wife/girlfriend/test-tube/surrogate mother/adopted, whatever. Isn’t that the reason why we have a myriad of assisted reproductive technologies, to help couples such as this? And really how is it our business? They are blessed with 2 beautiful kids..end of story!
Some people should just get their heads out of their fallopian tubes.