I have not seen any man alive who does not have an Achilles Heel. Everyone has. For most of us however, our Achilles Heels, our weak points are always tucked away somewhere beyond or beneath public glare. These weaknesses come like a triumvirate, gaining a mastery over our entire faculties and determining the course of our life. In the literary sciences, our weaknesses are known as tragic flaws, maybe a love to amass and amass and amass money hey, no matter the methods. Well if you are not in that category, maybe you are like Ibrahim Babangida or Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigerian civi-military leaders who have had their fair share of the power pie but cannot resist the lure of another bite. Ok, if you are not in that category, surely you must be a fine example of a woman lover like King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. After he was proclaimed king in 1936, the chap announced his intention to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. But the British and Commonwealth governments vehemently opposed the marriage. Left with a choice between his kingdom and the woman he loved, Edward VIII abdicated his throne and ran of with his heartthrob. For others, the love of women is not restricted to loving a girl friend or a mistress. Some people have stolen a lot of money, have seized power and done the craziest of things just so that they could gain the love, affection or admiration of a certain woman – maybe their daughter, a niece, an Indian prostitute or a beloved mother or wife.
There are also many instances where some highly-placed persons in this country often exhibit not one weakness but all three of the weaknesses I just highlighted. I will refrain from naming names but go right ahead to state that the love either of power, money or for the opposite sex is reciprocal. Women love the men who love them. Women love powerful men [not to say that the pauper doesn’t stand a chance though]. While a man offers power or money to a woman to have sex, a woman willingly gives that thing she considers the core of her being – sex, to have power and money and affection. But the matter goes a little further than just giving and receiving sex. The matter becomes a matter of life and death if a woman knows that a man loves her and gives her power, money and affection all into the bargain. That woman would do anything, dare God and challenge the devil himself to a duel. I cannot substantiate what I am about to say here now but I heard that when the first or second coup was to take place, certain soldiers invaded the house of a prominent Northern leader to kill him. But his wives, about seven of them were said to have formed a human shield on him, telling the soldiers they’d rather die first than see their breadwinner shot. It was only after they managed to yank the women off their victim that they eventually actualized their grim objective.
The situation, with Hajia Turai, Nigeria’s first lady is no different. Here is one woman who first served as first lady of Katsina State when her husband was governor. Nobody knew anything about her as a Lady Macbeth [no apologies to those who see her thus]. Imbued with the quiet disposition of a traditional Moslem woman and mother, she was known to have dealt with the domestic and social issues that came with her office as mother and first lady. Nobody remembers that now. The cacophony around us now is that she is the ogress that is the cog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress. A lot of people accuse the poor woman of holding our president incommunicado and of having forged a human shield against those who want to see Mr. President.
But there are other issues regarding the ill-health of Mr. President we are either shying away from out of ignorance of the real situation or that we are guided by a lot of mischief. Recently I spoke with a medical doctor who works with the United Nations, UN, and who claims to have had access to Mr. President’s medical records. According to him, the president’s condition was so precarious that he had to be isolated and quarantined so as not to further aggravate a situation that his doctors had successfully arrested. In that state, nobody was to be allowed in to see him, not even very close family members, apart from his wife, Turai. Now, knowing this, I wonder how many of us would have still wanted to go in there to see our president, knowing full well that that kind of visit may further injure the recuperating man. Knowing this now, I wonder how any one of us would still hurl the kind of expletives that we all hurled at this very strong lady, who was determined to fight us all, to ensure that her husband is restored to good health.
I wonder. But one thing I know is that if we were in the same condition and have wives who truly loved us, wives or daughters whom we have given love, wealth and power, I bet you they would do more than the ‘bad’ things Turai is being accused of today. So my dears, instead of casting aspersions on the poor woman, I beg to suggest that we focus more on our weaknesses as a nation. The Nigerian state would do with a lot of overhauling. Take for instance weak institutions and instruments like the Nigerian Constitution upon which the very existence of this nation stands. That document is so weak that people are using its inherent weaknesses against us all. Take for instance again our inability to invest massively in the development of our human potential. These are the things we should focus on now.