Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

President Buhari’s Daughter Marries

President's daughter marries. Photo by Otu Albert from Bella Naija.

President’s daughter marries. Photo by Otu Albert from Bella Naija.

President’s Daughter Gets Married

Hajiya Fatima, President Buhari’s second daughter, married yesterday. Her new husband is the former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Malam Gimba Yau Kumo. The wedding took place in Daura, Katsina state.

She is one of the president’s children from his first wife, Safinatu Muhammadu Buhari. Isn’t she lovely?

Fatima is the 4th wife of the malam. The malam’s first wife may not be happy about the situation. She took to Instagram (link is to an article, not to Instagram) to post pictures of herself.

President's daughter marries, surrounded by other women before ceremony, from Bella Naija, by Otu Albert

President’s daughter marries, surrounded by other women before ceremony, from Bella Naija, by Otu Albert

There was Twitter comment. A few people were critical of Fatima’s choice. But more said something like “Let us each respect each others’ religious beliefs and customs.”

Then there is Ayomide O. Tayo, writing in Pulse, who says “For a generation that is obsessed with ‘cheating’ in relationships, hearing that someone is getting married as the fourth wife feels archaic. It feels like a blast from the past from the pre-colonial era.”

He says his generation’s grandparents were in polygamous marriages, but they themselves grew up in monogamous families. Indeed, he says, their parents painted a picture of difficulties in polygamy.

Emir of Daura arriving with his entourage as the president's daughter marries

Emir of Daura arriving with his entourage as the president’s daughter marries

But he thinks there is a bit of self-delusion going on.

“Polygamy still exists and believe it or not people find it cool. These people might balk at the idea of you having friends with benefits or four boyfriends. Polygamy just has a different name in our generation but deep down most of us are polygamists. You don’t have to be married to have more than one partner,” he concludes.

Niger Delta

In my last post 4 days ago I told you about the Niger Delta Avengers and their recent attack on the Escravos pipeline. Today I found an article in Vanguard News on the unrest in Delta.

The writer says that leaders of the Niger Delta are meeting with President Buhari on Nov. 1. I read it all, but kept wondering if these ‘leaders’ are the ones the Delta Avengers disparage.

It’s a long article. You may want to read just a bit. Or read it all and let me know what you think. Is there hope?

I’ll be watching for news after the meeting.

What Niger Delta expects from Buhari after Jonathan’s disappointment

Fulani Herders Arrested

I also wrote earlier about the issue of the Fulani cattle herders ‘invading’ farmers’ properties. There has been occasional violence for years. Grazing land disappears as cities and towns spread.
The Nigerian Vice-President Osinbajo was in Houston Texas on October 28. He addressed Nigerians and others at an event. A Nigeria Infrastructure summit which showcased opportunities for foreign investors in Nigeria preceded his talk.

He told the audience that 800 Fulani herdsmen have been arrested. In reference to these men, the article said, “Prof. Osinbajo reminded the audience . . . that the issue of killings by such violent herdsmen has been a perennial issue especially as grazing lands continue to disappear over the years and the cattle feed on people’s crops on the farmlands. He clarified that the matter just did not crop up when President Buhari assumed office.”

He encouraged his audience, and all Nigerians, to avoid blaming religion. He “urged against the tendency of interpreting the herdsmen issue as a religious issue, stressing that it is important for all Nigerians to refuse such divisive narratives and tendencies.”

Good for him. To me this is an economic issue. Nigeria is large enough to find space for the cattle grazing that doesn’t allow cattle on farmland. But to do this will require firm political will, trust, and cooperation.

I believe in honoring people’s traditions. Shrinking available grazing land requires herders to keep their cattle in more restricted areas. But that is contrary to their own custom.

VP Osinbajo also answered questions about the fight against corruption. The Buhari administration, “is not in the business of arresting just anyone anyhow.” He said the anti-corruption agencies are at work.

“Corruption is not an ethnic thing, there is an equal representation in the stealing . . . the culprits are in every case seen so far, united by greed to steal and not by ethnic or religious interest,” he said.

I like the way he spreads the blame – equal opportunity corruption!

Even the Concorde could not have got him there in time, with Nigeria 6 hours ahead!

Even the Concorde could not have got him there in time, with Nigeria 6 hours ahead!

But I’m amazed at his ability to travel, apparently through time. He was listed as the leader of the government delegation for President Buhari’s daughter’s wedding on the same day as he spoke in Houston!

Living in Community: Lessons from West Africa

I follow the blog of Margaret Anderson, Persuasion Coach. She writes about consensus building. How would she advise addressing the needs of the Fulani herders and the farmers? How can they come together to solve the problem? I look for a comment from her!

I have been working with her and Iyabo Obasanjo to submit a program proposal for the Unitarian-Universalist General Assembly. GA will be held this summer in New Orleans.

Our proposal is for a workshop “Living in Community: Lessons from West Africa.” Since Iyabo is Yoruba and I’m married to an Igbo, we believe we can bring a breadth of experience to the lessons. We’ve asked Margaret to be our facilitator or moderator.

We have to submit the proposal by Tuesday. We’ll be notified in a few weeks if it’s accepted. We are hopeful! Margaret gave a workshop three years ago, so she already has credibility.

I got to know Iyabo because she and I are on the board of the US National Committee for UN Women. I was surprised and pleased to learn she is a Unitarian.

She is the daughter of Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo. She held political office in Nigeria. She now resides in the U.S.

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.

2 Comments

  1. A lot of us are not ready for Halloween.

    • But Halloween is here, ready or not! Like all of us, Coleen, you will live through this holiday, even when it isn’t welcome. And to cheer you up, I’ll share the pre-Halloween laugh I had yesterday. At the end of the blog post on Saturday I asked what to do with left-over candy. Then I forgot all about my question. When my sister sent me an email on Sunday evening saying “Eat it!” I couldn’t figure out what she meant. I thought maybe she’d been spammed. I called and she explained that it was her answer to my question! I wish she’d use the ‘Comments’ but no harm done.