Reuben Abati Writes on Tiwa Savage, her Husband, May Day and Nigeria

By Reuben Abati

“Ol’boy, man don see something oh.”

“Wetin you see?”

images-1“My eyes don see something. My ears don hear, and my mouth sef, I for talk something join.”

“Talk make I hear”

“No be dis Tiwa Savage and him husband matter? The husband wey say him wife offend am, he no gi am food, him wife dey form for house but him dey open leg for other men, and na another woman they give am edible catering, and the man come vex he wan jump inside river for Lekki-Ikoyi bridge”

“Who the hell are you talking about?”

“Tiwa Savage and her husband”

“And who are those?”

“Tiwa, now. Marvin First Lady. She is one of Nigeria’s topmost female artistes. And her husband. They are quarrelling. The husband tried to commit suicide. She says her husband prefers to follow other women, take cocaine and ignore his responsibilities as a man and a husband. Social media is agog with the news. Mainstream media is feeding on it too. The man even tried to jump into the Lagoon.”

“And has he done so?”

“No. He was restrained by Banky W and Peter Okoye.”

“And who are those? Red Cross Officials?”

“You are in this country and you don’t know Banky W and Peter Okoye?”

“There is no way anyone can possibly know all the members of the Red Cross? ”

“They are musicians, not Red Cross, not NEMA”

“Oh, I see”

“Don’t tell me you are one of those dumb ones who do not know what is going on in this country?”

“I don’t get it. Am I supposed to worry about how Tiwa Savage and her husband are savaging the public space with their dirty linen and turning their marriage into a subject for beer parlour gossip?”

“It is a serious matter.”

“Oh really? So, how has their matter affected the supply of petrol, the price of foodstuffs and the payment of salaries?”

“It is the biggest news of the week.”

“Of course, because the media does not know what to prioritise anymore”

“There are issues involved. Tiwa Savage’s husband wanted to commit suicide. The same week, there was a report about a man who killed his target of amorous desire and stabbed her mother in Ilorin because the lady refused to love or marry him.”

“Love is the most potent poison in the world. The graveyard is a prison yard of unrequited love.”

“Tiwa Savage’s husband says…”

“You keep mentioning the wife. That husband doesn’t have a name? They should have allowed him to jump into the Lagoon, and have his wife do a special song at his funeral and go home on the left arm of another man.”

“They call him em em. actually that is the problem if you would listen to the wife. She is the breadwinner, she says and the man likes to squander money and so on and so forth.”

“Look, I am not interested in that story. I don’t want a taste of Tiwa Savage’s #Lemonade. I don’t want any tales about the #Becky-with-the-Big-Hair that served her husband “edible catering”. Or do you want the National Assembly to have a special session on a derailed marriage, or may be you want President Muhammadu Buhari to issue a statement on it? One of these days, Nigerians will start insisting that the Nigerian President should become a marriage counselor and he will be blamed for marital squabbles.”

“We are talking about celebrities. And come to think of it, in a normal country, Tiwa Savage’s husband will not have to depend on his wife. He will have a proper means of income.”

“E ma gba mi ke. Doro Tiwa and husband fight and Nigeria no go hear word? E joor oh. As you lay your bed, you lie on it. These things happen every day. Human beings pay for the choices that they make. They learn from the outcomes of their choices. Can we have the media focus on serious matters beyond sex, infidelity, cocaine and the poverty of matrimonial matters in the household of Tiwa and Tee Blliz? Which kin name be that sef?”

“Tomorrow is May Day for example”

“Nigerian workers should actually carry placards tomorrow, screaming May Day, May Day, May Day!!”

“You want them to scream for help?”

“Yes, because the Nigerian worker today is hungry, angry, sinking, helpless, jobless, over-used, under-paid and in despair. State governments are not paying salaries. Companies are retrenching staff. The latest I read is that First Bank is planning to sack 1, 000 workers, Aero Contractors, 100. I know a couple, who have both just lost their jobs and they have five children. Some other companies are closing shop. Massive divestiture in the economy.”

“Incidentally, you know the people who caused the melt down. “

“Tell me”

“I don’t know.”

“If you don’t know, then you don’t know, before you say something that will make me give you a punch in the face. But I think all that President Buhari needs to do tomorrow is to give the people hope. In a situation like this, you give the people hope, you reassure them.”

“You are recommending rhetoric. Speaking for speaking sake.”

“No. I am saying hope is a strong weapon. When a leader gives the people hope, he calms down their blood pressure. It is a strong pill.”

“The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are not asking for hope. Nigerian workers know what they want. They are asking for N56, 000 minimum wage.”

“Chai”

“You heard me. N56, 000”

“Chai. Do they live in this country at all? Do they have economists among them? Does it make sense to ask for what you know you cannot get?”

“You can ask for what you think you deserve.”

“But in matters like this, you look at the economy too. What they are asking for is called wage indexation. That is not sound economics. Wage indexation is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you base your calculations on it, there will never be an end to it, and it will undermine the economy.”

“Which economy? An economy where some people grab N2 billion, and millions of dollars all in the line of a day’s arrangement, and workers cannot get the existing N18, 000 minimum wage?”

“If I were the NLC or TUC leader, I’ll be more interested in giving the government ideas about how to pay the current minimum wage and ensure that the welfare of the people is properly the concern of government. NLC should be pragmatic. Get all sala

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