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Woman 2 Woman With Nneameka Onochie

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Dear Woman, All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Kehinde swaggered into my sitting room clutching a medium-sized orange bag and said, “Ha! Tinuke I told you my tailor is superb.” Slowly she unzipped the bag and swiftly brought out the Indian lace which unfolded to my view. “This is the latest material I told you about, my tailor has performed wonders on it.”

I smiled and took the glittering cloth from her, turning to different directions and nodding in satisfaction like an agama lizard that just finished a meal. “This cloth is really beautiful, Kehinde, and I like the austere style.”

“Oh let me wear it so you will see the fitting.”She grabbed the cloth from my hands and stripped till she was in her underwear. She quickly wore the clothes and turning in angle one hundred and eighty degrees, she asked, “So how do you see it?”

“You look heavenly,” I said.

“Thank God for my husband. Do you know he gave me two hundred thousand for this material?” She puffed up her nose and pouted slightly.

“Oh your husband is really spoiling you silly…You are indeed lucky to have such a man,” I said. I knew she would like it. She always loved to bask in the euphoria of compliments. Then her next word threw me off balance.

“Tell your husband to give you the money let me take you to where we can get you this beautiful lace.”

I masked the displeasure I had on my face with a smile. We had just paid our Ola’s school fees and we had other spending priorities to take care of.”Maybe when he is buoyant enough I will tell him,” I said.

“Hmmm.”She sneered.”That’s why I like my David, he always budgets my needs and excesses despite taking care of his responsibilities,” she concluded with a hint of pride and mockery.

After Kehinde left I sat on the couch beside me thinking how lucky she was to have such a husband who adored her. She had been my neighbor for the past one year and she didn’t hesitate to flaunt David’s generosity. One thing with her numerous visits to my flat was that she irked me with the feeling of being the underappreciated wife and infused a sadness in me. She would always flaunt the Birkin bag or Louboutin shoe David had bought for her. She had that pompous, larger-than-life attitude of the woman living the life others could only dream of. One day I was bemoaning my unfortunate self when my phone rang. It was my husband, Tunde. I let it ring for the second time before I picked.

“Hello, baby,” he said with excitement.”What are you making for dinner? Guess what? I just got a raise, can you prepare something delicious for us tonight?” He paused. “Are you there, baby?”

“Yes, I’m here,” I said less impressed and angry.

“But you sound unexcited and distant, what is the matter?”

“When was the last time you increased my monthly allowance, ehh? So does it mean you will increase my monthly allowance now that you have gotten a raise or appreciate me as a wife?”

“Baby, what is the problem? “he asked.

“Please, Tunde,” I said, already irritated.” I have a slight headache. I’ll see you when you come home,” and I ended the call almost crying, thinking of how Kehinde’s husband would have gotten her beautiful gifts to celebrate a raise. I was utterly frustrated at his seeming nonchalance about my happiness.

That night when he came back from work looking stressed and utterly disappointed in me I couldn’t have cared less. I had earlier on fed Ola to satisfaction and made sure I emptied every content of the pot.

“Baby, please serve me my dinner, I’m really hungry,” he said as he removed his clothes while I watched the whole time, seething.

“You will have to take tea and bread or cornflakes, I wasn’t able to make dinner because my head hurts so much.” I laid a hand on my head, sighing.

“It’s okay, I’ll fix something for myself,” he murmured. I knew he thought I was being mischievous but Tunde was such a nice man. He later entered the room and handed me something wrapped in a small box. I unwrapped it and opened the box. It was a gold necklace.

Then he said, “Baby, please, I will increase your allowance but let us finish our project.”

“So because we have a project then my needs will not be met?” I retorted, not minding he’d just gifted me a necklace that must have cost a fortune. He ignored me.

That night we didn’t speak much and I went to bed more frustrated than I had been.

I was in the market when my phone rang days later. It was Kehinde.

“Girl, guess what?” She sounded so excited.

 I wiped off the sweat on my forehead with the back of my hand. The sun was already dealing with me. “What?”

“My David just got me a new Highlander, 2019 model, can you believe it?” she screamed.

“Oh congratulations, dear, it calls for a celebra—”Before I could finish my sentence she’d already hung up. I was happy for her but sad in my bland life. I continued with my purchase of soup ingredients. The sky was already pregnant when I was done and I rushed to my old 2009 Toyota Corolla and drove home. As I drove into the compound, I saw Kehinde and some of her friends having a get-together close to her new car. I made to sneak into my flat but she saw me.

“Tinuke, come and have your champagne and pizza. My David said we should celebrate.”

l stopped in my tracks.”Okay, dear, I’m so happy for you but first let me go inside and drop my bag.”

“Alright, make it snappy,” she said.

I entered the house feeling drowsy. Kehinde’s husband had gotten her a 2018 Toyota Tacoma last year now he’d gifted her another car and I was still struggling with the old rickety car I’d been driving since ten years ago.

“Tinuke darling,” Kehinde called.”We’re waiting for you.”

“Coming,” I replied and quickly took the bags to the kitchen, dropped them on the counter and rushed out to celebrate with my friend. She let me open the car and admire the beautiful interior.We ate roasted chicken and pizza and drank champagne.

“My David has sworn to spoil me,” she said, “indeed he’s living up to his promise.”

That night when my husband came back from work I barely spoke to him; all he did to get my attention was futile. I drifted to an unhappy woman and my marriage became strained. Tunde tried talking to me but I returned his efforts with scorn. Soon we drifted apart as I cared less and less about him and his work. Each time I ran into Kehinde it was either David had planned a vacation for them or gotten her one gift or the other, reminding me how stale my life was.

Three weeks later on a Monday morning after my husband had gone to work, I heard a noise coming from Kehinde’s flat. People were arguing and quarreling. From the rants, I heard a woman shouting, “How can you owe me two hundred thousand for six months? Do you want to spoil my business, eh? You know you don’t have money yet you want to buy everything in my shop.”

Fifteen minutes  later the angry woman stormed out of her house shouting and cursing with Kehinde tagging behind pleading, “Please, I will pay you.”

The woman took most of her valuables leaving her with a parting word of, “If I don’t get my money by tomorrow I will call the police.”

On seeing me Kehinde dashed into her house without a word. What is happening, I thought, Kehinde doesn’t look like one who would run into debt?

I dressed up and left for the salon. There I met Kehinde’s friend who was narrating how Kehinde’s husband had lost his job a year ago and how they were neck-deep in debt. It was there I understood that the cars were sent by his brother who was in America for sale. After I went home that day, I entered the kitchen and prepared rice with shredded chicken sauce, put it in a flask and drove to my husband’s office to surprise him with lunch. As I drove to my Tunde’s office I wondered how I hadn’t seen the blurred lines in Kehinde’s life. I pushed the thoughts from my mind and started taking mental notes on what to cook for my darling Tunde for dinner.

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Opinion

Traffic Congestion: Lawyer drums support for Ihezuo’s remedy, appeals with Govt to consider proposal

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Dr.Ihezuo‘s letter to Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma appears to have attracted reactions across board.

Barr Ihezuo, a chieftain of the APC in Imo had on Friday 14th may written to the Imo State Government on the difficulties which both Drivers and pedestrians go through in the state following abuse of Road signs by those he termed recalcitrant Drivers and other motorists.

Ihezuo in the said letter published in the Lead Express of the said date used the medium to pinpoint some measures which if considered by the state Government would not only solve the problems of traffic jam in the state but would also generate revenue to the state.

Supporting the said report by Ihezuo, one of the constitutional lawyers in Imo, Barr C.D Odumeh Omekagu, appealed with Imo state Governor senator Hope Uzodinma to give a trial the postulation of the said Ihezuo.

Omekagu who made this disclosure to the press in Owerri yesterday after attending the APC meeting expressed optimism that the difficulties which people go through at various junctions in Owerri would certainly become things of the past.

One of the chieftains of the APC in Imo and Orlu in particular, Dr. Ikenna Ihezuo had marshalled out ways to curb traffic jam in Imo.

This is even as he commended the efforts of the Government in the area of Road construction which according to him has given the State a new look.

In an open letter to the Imo State Governor signed by Ihezuo himself and made available to weekend Lead, Ihezuo who contested keenly for Orlu, Orsu and Oru-east House of Representatives seat in the 2019 elections urged the State Government to introduce what he termed Imo State Traffic Control Agency (ISTCA) and saddle the body with the sole responsibility of controlling the movement of human and vehicles in the State.

Ihezuo an American trained conditional lawyer further pointed out that the said Agency will see to re training of all the personnel for traffic control as well as the orientation of Drivers and motorists.

Describing a well controlled Traffic as a booster to the states IGR, Ihezuo revealed in states like Lagos, Rivers amongst others, the body saddled with the responsibility of traffic Control arrest and prosecute traffic offenders which after taken offender to psychiatric hospitals to ascertain the mental status of the offender charges him or her certain amounts as fine which goes to the State coffers.

Ihezuo who further called on the State Government to make an executive law,providing a particular time by which  Big Lorries will enter the cities in Owerri made it clear that their unregulated entrance to the cities of Owerri has led to series of accidents in the State and also results in traffic jam.

Describing a traffic free state as a booster to investments, Ihezuo disclosed that both foreign investors and local ones, invest where both human and material resources would not be stocked on hold up or traffic .

Ihezuo who finally appealed with Imo people, particularly the Drivers to always take cognizance of the Road signs and traffic and not the other way round.

Imo state Government has in the recent times removed some of the roundabouts in the Owerri Cities .

Read Also: Ihezuo condemns attacks on Imo

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Leadership

Do not renounce your citizenship, Perm. Sec. to Nigerians

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Do not renounce your citizenship, Perm. Sec. tells Nigerians

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, has advised Nigerians to desist from illegal movement out of the country including renouncing of their citizenship owing to some present challenges.

Belgore gave the advice on Tuesday when the national coordinator of SERVICOM, Mrs Nnena Akajameli, visited him in his office to make formal presentation of SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation Reports (SCER) of Federal Marriage Registries in Nigeria.

Speaking further, he expressed concern over the rate at which some Nigerians were moving out of the country illegally, to the extent of renouncing their citizenship.

Belgore noted that such act could also lead to avoidable death and missing of some citizens as noted across the nation.

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“Protecting citizens’ right is part of what we are saddled with to carry out, we handle marriages, and we handle citizenship issues, people trying to get citizenship into Nigeria, people who want special immigrant status.

“People who want to work in Nigeria, they need permission from us in areas such as expatriate quota, residents permit, and work permit, all that is within our power in the ministry.

“Unfortunately, once in the while some Nigerians want to renounce their citizenship and we don’t want them to do that, except through constitutional rights of such movement,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary, therefore, admonished Nigerians not to use the present circumstance being faced by the country as an excuse to move out illegally but through proper channels.

However, receiving the SERVICOM SCER reports, Belgore reiterated the ministry’s determination to collaborate with SERVICOM for quality service delivery to Nigerians, ensuring that Nigerians are well served across all the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

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Earleir, in her presentation, Mrs Akajemeli explained that the overall objectives of SERVICOM SCER was to ensure citizen-focused service delivery in MDAs, to identify gaps, making recommendation to the ministry to improve on those gaps.

According to Akajemeli, interaction with customers revealed Federal Marriage Registry is not established in all states of the Federation and this has caused a lot of inconveniences for the intending couples and those who stand as their witnesses.

“The Ministry of Interior should intensify its efforts to create at least one marriage registry in all the states to ease the problems of intending couple having to travel far to submit printout of their applications.

“This will create a relief and reduce service delivery gaps especially in the area of cost of transportation,” the SERVICOM national coordinator added.

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Opinion

The ungodly APC National Caretaker Committee gamble with All Progressives Congress – APC Southeast/Southsouth Youth Assembly

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 Love or hate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, there’s no denying his rightful place as a nationalist per excellence especially on the political firmament of our beloved country Nigeria.

This is the man who led the dismantling of the second republic democratic regime of President Shehu Shagari at the point it became clear that the regime was drifting while Nigerians wallowed helplessly as the lessons and values of the civil war collapsed like a pack of cards under the watch of civilian players of that administration.

With his second in command, Brigadier General Tunde Idiagbon,he strove tirelessly to instill discipline, due process, accountability and uprightness as the culture in governance and general way of life in Nigeria.

 It was such that a few years after his regime was ousted in a bloodless coup in 1985, the world proclaimed that Nigeria had lost a golden opportunity of becoming great again as the nation wallowed ruderlessly in the hands of a self acclaimed “Evil Genius” for eight unbridled years (1985 – 1993)
According to Abraham Lincoln, the US leader of all time, what matters is not the number of times one lost elections, what rather matters, is the ability to rise again after failing an election. General Buhari suffered incarceration after being ousted from power in 1985, but he became a leading light to illuminate the political space from 2003. Three times, Muhammadu Buhari, the democrat contested presidential election and failed on different platforms with the concomitant bitter experiences and lessons arising thereof. In 2014, his party the CPC struck alliance with ACN to become the All Progressives Congress which delivered him in the 2015 presidential election.

PMB has fondly and jealously guided the All Progressives Congress, APC since formation in 2014. He curdles the party like a baby and has always intervened at critical points to save the life of APC. He stood in the gap to ease out Chief John Oyegun when it became necessary to pave the way for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to galvanize the party for the 2019 general elections.

 He was also instrumental to the birth of the present APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) constituted in 2020 to avert a major rift in the party. In addition to the normal day to day running of the party, the Governor Mai Mala Buni led National Caretaker Committee was charged with the major assignment of bringing up to date and standard the party membership list as well as deliver a national convention within six months of its span.

But this was not to be, as the committee requested additional six months from December 2020 to conclude with the membership registration as well as conduct bottom – top congresses leading to national convention to elect substantive party leadership as stipulated by the constitution and electoral act as amended.
CHANGING PARADIGMS OF THE COMMITTEE
we of the All Progressives Congress Southeast/Southsouth Youth Assembly have maintained a studied silence, though with consternation as the uncharitable drama in the apex leadership of the party unfolds.
It can be said here without contradiction that the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee has continued to operate in isolation of the state arms of the committee. Decisions are made without consensus as if in a command regime.

The national convention which is supposed to be the highest organ of the party and indeed the primary assignment of the committee is now relegated to the background completely as it is not in any contemplation of the committee.

The committee has rather continued to change paradigms and request extension of stay through the advancement of flimsy excuses intended for nothing but a sit tight. In a recent meeting about a week ago, the committee under the watch of HE Mai Mala Buni sought for the approval of extension of the party registration exercise by a whooping eight weeks in total silence over urgent need for preparation for a national convention for which it was set up in the first place. Over two third of the state caretaker committees were outraged for not being carried along on major decisions to the embarrassment of the party as a whole.

The question begging for answer at various quarters is why so much time should be set aside for membership registration and validation against a continuous process as in other parties and indeed other climes?

Thus, it becomes clear that major cracks are appearing on the erstwhile cohesive matrix of the party.
We are pained that the major opposition parties, the PDP and others have consequently capitalized on the lack luster disposition and indiscretion of the CECPC to barrette the All Progressives Congress at any given opportunity especially on the mainstream national television networks and it is truly logical to assume that a party lacking in capacity, will and cohesion to organize itself as in national convention is apparently unfit to seek mandate to lead the nation.

THE 2023 NATIONAL ELECTION
The year 2022 is almost here with us whereas our great party the APC is yet in a rudderless sail through self contrived troubled waters.

Should it continue in the present indefinite motion ostensibly on the mission to reinvent itself, we of the APC Southeast/Southsouth Youth Assembly take the lead to bid it farewell over a great but messed vision at the behest of unserious party administrators and political quacks.

HE Mai Mala Buni should see himself as the luckiest politician in the entire universe. This is a man who from nowhere became secretary to a winning national party and in a straight wave contested and won the governorship of a state as important as Yobe.

This is the same man considered good enough to lead the National Caretaker Committee of the same winning party.

Like the proverbial Blackman’s leadership syndrome of ‘sit tight and never vacate office’ Buni is now cut in the web of high profile fog and trappings of high offices at national and state levels and he has forgotten his modest beginnings.

 I wonder why he should forget that an incoming Exco of the party would require time to get acquainted with the workings and flow of the party from bottom-top. What does it take for him to understand that a stitch in time saves nine. Are the challenges at Yobe not enough for him to contend with ?

Wouldn’t he have preferred a more robust APC delivered by his committee than a party in tatters and too disorganized and weak to run elections in 2023 should his committee insist on using the space of time between now and 2023 for a rollercoaster jamboree??

We use this medium to urge those in the  true spirit to lead the party beyond Buni to begin on their own to undertake familiarization tours of the States’ APC formations with a view to grasping the inherent challenges than wait for the vacation of the slow pacing Buni & Co.  

WELCOME MR PRESIDENT
Welcome Mr President, you are welcome our own PMB. In spite of ill-health for which the Almighty Allah has decisively intervened, you are an elixir.

You have always been the catalyst that quickens chemical reactions but in the human sphere of life, not in the labs.

As party faithfuls, we look up to you to step in and arrest the budding drift in our great party.

 Moses played a similar role in the Holy Bible when it became necessary to deliver Israel from the house of bondage.

We beckon on you to once again step into the shoes lest our party, the APC sink like the great titanic.

Read Also; Presidency 2023: We Can’t Zone Presidency, Others Without Buhari, Governors – APC

Hon Stanley Chuks Nwachukwu
PRESIDENT APC SOUTH YOUTH ASSEMBLY

Hon McDonald Ita Ekpenyong
SECRETARY APC SOUTH YOUTH ASSEMBLY

Hon Godspower Bennett Briggs
PUBLICITY SECRETARY

Hon Felicia Nene Akoma
WOMAN LEADER

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