It wasn’t about the colour of his skin or a nonsensical thing called state of origin. The kind that makes a female judge not an indigene of her husband’s state of origin. It was all about what Americans could see or feel. It was about promise kept. He said it and did it. He made a difference. He confronted America’s worse demons and wrestled them; some he defeated, some he killed, many he beat into a state of stupor. He didn’t pretend.
He didn’t bury reports or rubbished probes to please some kingmakers. In four years, he changed the landscape and Americans, across the 50 states that made up the United States, rewarded him with a second term. And so Obama is back. The most respected democracy in the world chose performance over zoning, colour or whatever. As the early results trickled in last Tuesday, I squirmed in my seat. Mitt Romney was in the lead. Though I knew that the results of the ‘tossup’ or battleground states would be the deciding votes, courtesy of the Electoral College, my heart still did a combination of ‘etighi’ and ‘apala’ dance.
In the end, the states that really mattered- Ohio, Iowa, Virginia and Colorado lined up behind Obama and gave him 303 electoral votes when all he really needed was only 270. For one, it never occurred to me at any point in time before those early hours of Wednesday November 7, that Obama could lose. And my conviction was based on sentiments largely because I do not live in America and I haven’t visited in a while. Save for the killing of Osama bin Laden, I hadn’t jumped up for joy about President Obama’s achievements.
So, my mind quickly drew up a list of those things it could remember. I didn’t really have to worry for long, thank God. Americans soon put me out of my misery. They are the one wearing the shoes and the decision was theirs to make. They wanted more of Obama. Sure, Romney didn’t do badly but it wasn’t him they wanted. Obama was it. And this time, the decision wasn’t made just based on the tenacity of hope or Barrack’s oratorical prowess. He had made a difference, promised more and Americans trust him.
So, my darling governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, how many of you can swear, not with the Bible or the Quoran, but with something as dear to you as your manhood or life, that you will get second terms because of what you have done? Raise your hands and dare the fiery angels of God , go on. How many of your published and publicised ‘giant strides’ will make your people troop out and vote again for you truly without ‘early voting’ and ballot box stuffing or outright rigging? If you knew what Nigerians have learnt in the past few months, you will begin to do something they can see.
Because if they can’t see something and the soldiers arrive with a shoot-to-kill and one-man-one-vote order, yawa fit gas. If you don’t believe that the return of Obama is not magic or good luck, ask the people of Edo and Ondo states. Performance is also catching on here. We will get there. In fact, I am sure we will get to where America is today in half the time it took them. Give or take a few months, America has been doing this democracy business for 238 years and I strongly believe that at the speed we are going, it won’t take us two centuries to get our 36 states and the centre working at fully installed capacity. We have, in 13 years, found candidates who unseated incumbents. We have seen our National Assembly dethrone a cabal with something called ‘doctrine of necessity’.
We have found a governor who stood up to ‘two ruling parties’. The first mono rail will take off soon in another state. We have also seen a state who escaped the last flood of Noah even when all its neighbours had to accommodate snakes and crocodiles in their bedrooms. I still want to check out if it was just geography or storm drain in action. To many, Nigeria is doomed. To me, we are going through normal growing pains.
One day, the only thing we will consider when choosing a president will be his antecedent and then he will work his fingers to the bone for us to give him a second term. His zone will count for nothing. As it is, Edo and Ondo people have shown that we are not a foolish race, a people you can rape and still expect a ‘thank you.’ Let all those in authority; including Mr President know that 2015 won’t be a walk over. Nobody ‘s certificate will be renewed unless we can see what he did with the first four years. No party will rule forever. No godfather will reign forever.
Long courtship is bad business
I don’t know how it works for men but long courtship is bad business for a woman, a right thinking woman. And this is not about lack of patience on a girl’s part. It’s simply and totally about common sense. Letting a man dangle you on his key strings is dumb and dangerous and a bloody waste of time, and time is what a woman doesn’t have and that goes beyond biological clock.
Sure a short courtship has its own draw-backs , it is the real reason why long courtship is bad. Before you come up with the aged argument of how a woman needs to study a man, show me a wife who can swear that she absolutely knew her man before she said ‘ I do’. Men are closed books and you can’t judge them by their macho covers. It takes time to know a man. Okay, and a woman too. So? Short courtship is not good for anybody. Neither is long courtship. The sane thing is to stay in the middle of the long and the short courtship.
Find a middle road. It’s either a relationship is serious or it is not. You are either heading for the altar or the rocks. If you are dating a man and in all of the 52 weeks that make a year, you don’t smell seriousness, you’ve been had. Cut your losses and take a walk. The earlier the better. Hanging on to nothing is foolhardy and you know what is most saddening; most women in relationships that are going nowhere are actually aware of the fact. They are just too afraid to cut loose; you know all that nonsense about ‘where do I start from’ bla bla bla. If you don’t end a bad affair while time is still on your side, you are liable to end up a lonely touchy old maid.
A long courtship going nowhere strips a woman of her dignity and self-esteem. Because she is hoping that tomorrow will persuade him to make an honest woman of her, she shoos off other eligible males. Because she thinks he’d propose at the next valentine dinner, she discourages the real Mr Right. She reads stupid meanings into everything he says or does even when the bloke means nothing. For instance, she mistakes his presence at her mother’s 60th birthday for commitment of an acting son-in-law. Nonsense, it’s just another party for him.
So what if he attended with his friends? Did he not attend parties the previous weekend? What are you doing in a three-year relationship that is about eateries, Chinese restaurants and you acting like a wife every weekend? You do his laundry, warm his bed and cook his meals every week, yet he won’t buy a ring. Naah, you are either a fool or a sucker for pain. He makes love to you without protection but starts fretting if you are three days late. You have overheard him tell his friends that he’s not in a hurry to settle down. What else do you need to convince you that marriage is not on the cards? Now, his bad manners shouldn’t make you lose faith in yourself.
That he won’t propose does not mean you are not a wife material. He’s just not the groom meant for you. You can’t remain his plaything forever while he enjoys the best of both worlds – you play wifey at weekends, he plays the field all week. What insult! Chalk his attitude up as a vote of no-confidence in his upbringing. A man who leads a young woman on, knowing he would not marry her was badly brought up by his mother and his father taught him nothing. Above all, he’s sowing evil seeds for his daughters to reap later. Leave him to his reprobate heart and move on.