TUESDAY Column by VICTORIA NGOZI IKEANO
Women are powerful! We all acknowledge this whether consciously or unconsciously. And although women do not obtrusively show off this power publicly in the way men generally flaunt their authority, their quiet exercise of it is nonetheless, decisive and even far reaching. Unfortunately, in our ignorance and our penchant to coarsen and distort virtually everything, we term it ‘bottom power’. Indeed, women themselves have turned this power on its head to what we now call bottom power.
In truth it is a thread of radiation (power) which the Almighty GOD planted in women and which manifests in feminine charm. It is therefore innate feminine charm. Should a genuine woman step into a gathering of men, unconsciously, they will all smarten up, to behave aright even if for the first moments. This innate feminine charm is of course a gift of the Almighty. And like all gifts from the Creator, it is given for a purpose. However, in accordance with our inherent freewill, it can be put to right or wrong uses, to propel the men folk to noble or ignoble deeds.
Consider that a woman (his wife) was at the root of Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s fall. Many years ago in England, a king in-waiting had to choose between the royal throne and a woman. He elected to abdicate the throne and follow the woman (his wife) to another country. Our own Dame Patience was said to have more swagger than President Jonathan. She was reported to have contributed to the apparently easy-going president’s loss of the historic 2015 general election.
It is noteworthy that the two women closest to the former president, namely, Dame Patience and Lady Diezani, according to EFCC reports allegedly misappropriated or misapplied the most funds in the anti-corruption crusade. They are the most maligned women in the anti-graft war. And although incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari described the former Nigerian leader in glowing terms when he marked his 60th birthday this week, the actions and inactions of these two erstwhile powerful women during his regime would rub off on him.
Perhaps President Buhari wants to learn from history by literally confining his wife, Aisha, to “the other room”. But can the president resist the feminine charm for long? In this respect I recall a picture I saw during live telecast of the inaugural ceremony of the APC federal government. Buhari, a general, leaned rather respectfully to the side of Aisha to hear what she was telling him.
As stated, this invisible power that the Creator imbued in women in the form of feminine charm is supposed to be used by us women, to urge, propel, galvanise men to heroic deeds, to actions that would bring blessings to their environment, the country and humanity in general. Thus, there is the talk of a man being charmed (or bewitched as we Africans who like to see things from a dark perspective would say) that he feels or wants to storm the heavens, etc.
Alas, women have turned this gift on its head, used it for wrong ends, employed it to ‘bewitch’ men, their country and by extension humanity, to the abyss. This in turn brought a chain of vices, lust, coquetry, prostitution, greed, false ambition, morbid craving to have earthly power by all costs, corruption, and so on and so forth. Women themselves in knowingly or unknowingly misusing their (feminine) charm now bear the brunt as they have become the butt of men; men now treat them with disdain rather than genuinely respect them as such.
The population of genuine women is dwindling. In their stead are caricatures who forcefully and loudly throw themselves to the fore and holding on to externals lest they lose balance and influence. Thus more women now engage in worst forms of greediness, corruption, wickedness, and so on and so forth. While women bear personal responsibility for misuse of their God- given charm, men also play a part thereof in that they consciously and unconsciously gingered them to so do by succumbing to their (men) own weaknesses. Woe! Woe! Woe!