I do not know if it is blessing or a curse, but I see signs in everything. I see multiple layers of interpretation and hidden messages in all that I read. It is in this context that I read President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration speech. Many persons have expressed fears that the new president will come in guns blazing and change everything from our religion to the ease with which we can find sex workers in places like Abuja. I on the other hand, saw messages of love and tools for every possible relationship out there. It seems clear from that speech that President Buhari understands that once you have Nigerians in happy, fulfilling relationships, they will be easier to govern.
Below are the subliminal messages I read in Mr Buhari’s speech. His great words in italics are quoted, verbatim:
I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation.
Sometimes a situation might arise that may lead to the breakdown of a relationship or marriage, prompting an otherwise devoted family man to take a new wife. This may lead to tension in the home and even in the immediate community. Upon hearing that the man is about to remarry, neighbours may begin to whisper about possible tensions and rejection from the old wife. They begin to anticipate battle. Sometimes the neighbours are so sure there will be a battle that they take sides even before the old wife reacts to news of a possible new wife. They start to create scenarios. It is up to the old wife to display sportsmanship and accept the new state of affairs. And sometimes, the old wife, like Goodluck Jonathan, will shock the neighbours, put them all to shame, welcome the new wife and move on with her life. The silly neighbours will have to look for another person to satisfy their thirst for blood and war.
I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.
This one is revolutionary. Honestly, I did not think that Buhari was this progressive. Some people are just not cut out to be in a relationship. Some people just need friends with benefits so that nothing ties them down and prevents them from achieving greatness. Because, let’s face it, family and relationship commitments can sometimes impede greatness. How many truly great men and women have also been consistently loyal husbands or wives? Not many.
Let us consider the case of Dame Patience Jonathan. If she was not married to Dr Goodluck, do you think he would have tolerated everything that she did? But he did. Everytime. Because: marital commitment. Sometimes one needs an open relationship to truly thrive, to belong to everybody and to nobody.
Inspired by Mr Buhari, this is what I will tell the next woman I become involved with: I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. And if she doesn't like it, she can go join Mr and Mrs Jonathan in Otuoke.
A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.
Some people are vindictive. After a break up, they go round saying nasty things about you to your friends and even to people who respect you. Some will tell everyone that they were the one who was feeding you and buying your shoes and clothes, including the ones you were showing off on Instagram. Some will tell everyone the size of your penis or how bad you are in bed. When they see you with a new person they will do everything in their power to scuttle your attempts at finding love again. Well, to those people, I say, change is here. Let the past be “prologue”. Move on!
We are going to tackle them head on.
Any relationship where intimacy begins “head on”, is bound to succeed. Too many Nigerians, especially Nigerian men, do not know the value of tackling intimacy, head on.
Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments.
Relatives. Inlaws. Especially those stubborn siblings and cousins of your partner who insist on constituting themselves clogs in the wheel of progress. Sometimes relatives must know that in matters of love there are limits to how much or how often they can express their opinions. But of course, this does not mean that if a man is beating up your sister or cousin, or a woman is destroying your brother’s life you should fold your arms and close your eyes to what is going on. Know when to shut up and when to act.
We have an opportunity. Let us take it.
This is a line I can’t wait to use as I look for a partner in the future. As I lay my case about why she should be with me, I will look into her eyes and end with the words: “Baby, although I belong to nobody, in the words of a great man: we have an opportunity. Let us take it.”