by Tolu Orekoya
The courtship period was sublime. GEJ met young Nigeria as a struggling politician, a man with a humble background and big dreams. He seemed fresh and vibrant, removed from the mire that was the typical political wading pool. Young Nigeria was recovering from being neglected and abused from most previous relationships, and had become increasingly jaded with each successive failed relationship. It was a promising match made in heaven, with two outsiders coming together to forge a true bond to move a country forward. He wooed young Nigeria with sweet words and big promises; young Nigeria rewarded him with Facebook likes and celebrity endorsements.
There were troubling signs from the first though. His decision to select D’Banj who was popular, but not really well known for understanding the finer point of politics and policy as a representative was disturbing. But young Nigeria quickly it laughed off as a one-off, a miscalculation on his part because the then presidential aspirant didn’t know them too well. Admiring young Nigeria for flash and not for substance was typical of getting of the “getting to know you stage” in romances. He will get better, young Nigeria thought. At least he was trying. Still it niggled.
Still, young Nigeria forged ahead and was ever the supportive partner as GEJ went to the polls; at this point they were both engaged. They came out in their numbers—to campaign, to vote, to smooth things over at registration and voting stations. Young Nigeria volunteered and work tirelessly to get him to the altar of the presidential office. Together they did it, and for the foreseeable future, their fates were intertwined.
Then the trouble started. He kept breaking promises, and all the bad habits that were in Young Nigeria’s previous relationships were still there, even though GEJ said he would be different. He was weak when he should have been firm, and young Nigeria wondered what was going on. Still he showed occasional flashes of daring and will, and he told young Nigeria that his was not a sprint but a marathon. He was being deliberate, and things would get better.
Then he did the unspeakable; he broke young Nigeria’s heart. He told her he would make life more difficult by removing the little money he added to young Nigeria’s pocket and telling her that he was going to spend it on the house instead. Young Nigeria was furious, kicking and screaming until GEJ backed down partially. The damage was done, he beat her, he broke her trust and the damage was irreparable. Young Nigeria said (through Don Jazzy, music producer), “I hardly regret decisions I make. But my one vote added to put the current government in power is one decision I regret with all my heart.”
His latest point of contention has riled the Unilag population uniting the students in their rage against him. While it might just be a tempest in a teacup, just a tiny pinch to young Nigeria as to be insignificant to most, it just might be the beginning of divorce proceedings, one year to the day they hitched their wagon to each other. Whether GEJ will try to patch their romance and work things out, or they argue for the next three years remains to be seen.