My Ten Cents

Thursday, March 19, 2015

NIgerians and the story of the Much-Maligned Husband

The story of Nigerians and their leaders is akin to that of a housewife who will jump at every opportunity to paint her husband in bad light. At public outing with friends, the children's school, at the market place, hair and nail salon, and the like, she is always eager to complain about the " stupid, drunken, no-good louse of a man I married". She will wail at his chewing habit, level of education, incompetence in the bedroom, laziness, dirty habits, lack of courage, and many other unprintable names. Her friends, associates, and colleagues, eager for an ear-full of gossip material, will make themselves readily available to hear the latest from this never-ending source, and she will oblige them without hesitation.

Efforts by her in-laws, her parents and siblings, and other married women with much worse spouse but more respecting of theirs, who had attempted many time to caution her; all fell on deaf ears. Her husband became the butt of jokes among her friends, albeit, without her knowledge. Many will see him from afar, even people he does not know, and fall off the curb with laughter; they giggle and point fingers when he passes buy, leaving him wondering what is going on.

One day, a new acquaintance asked the housewife to meet her for a business lunch at an eatery, and she obliged. After the formalities, the acquaintance asked:

"By the way, how is that your stupid, lousy, lazy, no-good bum of a husband?"

"My what?" she asked, " what did you say"? By now she was rising from her seat.

The acquaintance was visibly surprised. "Your husband, now" she clarified.

"I know, but what did you call him?" she queried, ramrod and glowering. Other patrons at the eatery were now watching

"Oh! I said your stupid lousy no-good husband" the acquaintance repeated.

The slap and rain of curses came so fast that not even a miracle could have saved the poor woman.
"You are calling my husband names. Are you crazy? Is something wrong with you? Abi, you no drink your mama breast milk? Stupid woman wey no fit get husband and you are calling another woman's husband lazy, stupid and no-good"

By now the other woman was undergoing too many emotional processes that left her dizzy and confused that she was barely coherent. "But .... but... you..." she stammered.

"But what?" the housewife roared, her nose flaring.

"You always call your husband those names, so why are you beating up on me? I am just repeating what you make so much effort to inform everyone" she managed to clarify.

"Listen, you fool of a woman, my husband is my own. Yes, he may be a lousy, drunken, lazy, no-good bum, but he is my husband. I, and only I, reserve the right to call him names, not you or anyone else" she corrected her. "If I ever hear you or anyone else maligning my husband, you will wish you were never born"

"But ... we are all following your example. So, if you want us to stop, you have to stop too. If you continue to abuse and malign him in public as you have been doing, many more will follow suit"

This is the same way Nigerians behave about their country and its leaders. In discussions among them, all the faults and folly of the leaders are laid bare for everyone to trample upon. They are called unprintable and disgusting names - some even unsuitable for humans. Come election time as we have now, those same Nigerians who publicly maligned their leaders over issues both serious and frivolous, will rise up to defend and praise them to the high heavens. They will give you reasons why their leaders are the best and must continue in office.

However, once the elections are over everyone retires to their familiar stocks in trade - complains and criticisms of the very same leader. A never-ending cycle that does no one any good.

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